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ISH: A home away from home

IDU English and Art Project

Grade 9 students have been exploring the solitude and seclusion in poetry, art, music, theatre and design as part of their final assessment for their MYP Interdisciplinary Unit.

Sisyphus - how solitude changed him

Frustrated Loneliness

I'm the chosen one

seen my potential so they fear me

Lately I've been prayin'

Zeus, I wonder can you hear me?

Thinkin' 'bout the old me

I swear I miss you dearly

Stay down 'til you come up

I've been stickin' to that theory

Every day a battle

I'm exhausted and I'm weary

Im away from public

Now alone, my eyes teary

I fought through it all, but it hurt me severely

Peaceful loneliness

Well below the ego 

There's a place that doesn't care 

What people say or think or do 

It's very peaceful there

This place is deep inside 

It's way beneath the skin 

The stillness that surrounds you there 

Is you without the spin 

It's soul, unspoilt, it's raw 

Untouched by any mind 

Affected not by boxes 

Or labels of any kind

When you can find your inner peace 

Anytime or place 

No matter what is happening 

You have your own calm space

By Jo Hopmann


Lately, we have all been exposed to solitude, and it has left a mark on all of us. Through these two poems, I have shown two emotions in which solitude made me feel; frustration and calmness. Especially the beginning of being alone was frustrating to me. Solitude is a word which describes physically being alone and mentally being alone, during the Covid pandemic I was both. I have never been challenged to spend that much time with myself, and giving in and accepting the change which solitude made me go through was the hardest part to accept. Change can be good or bad, but it is never easy to accept, which is why change often occurs as a result of something which was forced upon you, like the Covid pandemic. This is what frustrated me in the first months of the quarantine and it made me close up to myself, like Sisyphus did in the greek myths. But after accepting this change, I found inner peace and calmness. The first poem describes the frustration while the second one describes the outcome, tranquility. I used Sisyphus to represent me and how others felt throughout the pandemic, of course our situation was less dramatic, but mentally, we went through similar things. 

For the base of my art I took a picture of a fence as I wanted to experiment with a new skill such as photography. I wanted to show that loneliness can be like a jail holding you in.

On Top of this I painted a double sided abstract mask, one side symbolising the frustration in loneliness and the other showing the peace and freedom of loneliness. The red, and frustrated side of the mask, I layered behind the piece using the thin knife. With this I wanted to show that when Sisyphus had not yet accepted the solitude and was angered, the loneliness acted like a cage, holding him and his Happiness captive. But after he had accepted the solitude, he moved out of the change, which is why I painted the blue side of the mask on top of the fence. This describes my central message of this piece, to accept feelings. 


Wherever I go 

My eyes wander across the view 

My vision is blurry and I feel stranded

The air is dusty and it’s dry 

I’d like to keep trying 

Keep trying to survive 

I start walking on the heated ground

I feel lifeless, deserted, no one’s around 

Sand Follows me everywhere

Wherever I go 

It's in my shoes, it's in my nose

as well as in my clothes

There is no end to reach 

I feel like I'm being watched

I feel like someone is staring 

I feel like I'm being touched

I'm getting pulled down 

Deeply into the ground 

Suddenly there is nothing left 

No air to breathe 

Its dark 

I can't see 

The last thing I felt is the sand in my shoes

The sand that was always with me 

The sand that didn't let me refuse 

It followed me wherever I went 

But at the end we both knew who got through

By Josephine Giers

I got this idea from an old Instagram story of a friend I saw once. She drew this black and pink mountain with the same material and structure. I found this really aesthetic and wanted to try it with my solitude and seclusion Artwork. 

For me solitude and seclusion means peace and space and time for thinking and deep thoughts. I tried showing this with this isolated dessert in warm tones, it's supposed to make you feel welcome and give you time to think and be private and secluded from the world for once in a while. 

I created a quiet place and an isolated dessert for deep thought and mental peace. It should make you feel welcome and warm due to the warm tones I tried to use. It shows a calming sunset with birds flying freely into the sun. The hills and mountains are just some kind of a barrier for others since it's secluded for others so you can be in some kind of solitude. 

My poem is about the heated dessert, and how a person walks through it on their own. That person fell too deep into his own thoughts and has some kind of delusions now, about being followed and watched. In the End of my poem that person gets (eaten) by the sand and isn't strong enough to fight. He eventually dies. However, this person went into the desert on their own to be secluded from everyone else and alone with these thoughts, his thoughts were just too strong. I thought this would fit my artwork, especially since you can see an isolated person standing in front of the mountains and I would say that person is probably in deep thoughts.