Since March, over 70,000 New Zealanders have experienced 14 day managed isolation in hotels around the country in order to return home. Now world renowned Kiwi artist, Ruby Jones is bringing their experiences to life in an artist-in-residency called ‘Thanks from Iso’.

Jones has partnered with Accor New Zealand who approached the artist after receiving thousands of items of creative and written work from guests isolating in their facilities. The material offers fascinating insights into the journey made by those who have experienced 14-days of managed isolation as well as the Kiwis who have been tirelessly working on the front line for the majority of the year.

As part of her 14-day residency at Allpress Studios in Auckland, Jones will interpret the experiences of these Kiwis, creating a body of artwork she hopes will encompass the bravery and solidarity shown during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ruby Jones and Accor wish to donate all 14 pieces of unique artwork to Auckland Museum. Accor has received an influx of written letters, poems and artworks crafted by returning New Zealanders going through the mandatory 14-days managed isolation across 11 of their 43 NZ based hotels.

Hotel teams from across the country have been supporting Kiwi’s returning home alongside government agencies such as AvSec, NZDF, MoH, MBIE and the NZ Police, together working tirelessly to help keep our communities safe.

According to Gillian Millar, Accor Senior Vice President Operations, “The journey for our teams, government agencies and guests since the first lockdown has been both heart-wrenching and rewarding. I am incredibly proud of the way our teams step up to help the government and our communities stay safe. We knew we needed a way to capture these tales, inner thoughts and experiences in a concentrated body of work that will encompass this moment in time – providing a visual understanding for generations to come.”

“Ruby Jones has the incredible ability to capture shared feelings and experiences through her impactful artworks, as originally seen with the Christchurch mosque shootings in 2018. We are thrilled to be supporting her artist residency and look forward to doing our part to help preserve history.”

Throughout her residency, Ruby will interview a range of Kiwis including past and present guests going through their managed isolation, government team members, healthcare workers and Accor staff, from housekeepers to chefs.

Says Ruby Jones, “I’m excited to be spending 14-days in Auckland putting myself in the shoes of those have experienced managed isolation, talking to a range of brave New Zealanders and hopefully creating a body of artwork that both represents and preserves this moment in history.”

Jones will be producing live at the gallery, one art piece a day based on inspiration gained from conversations with over 28 Kiwis.

“I hope that having unfiltered conversations will inspire a collection that resonates with all of Aotearoa. A keepsake for our country that’ll tell a story and spark a deeper sense of understanding for those to come. I feel honoured to be working with Accor on this impactful project,” says Jones.

Ruby Jones will be in residency at Allpress Studio in Auckland until Monday 7 December. The public are encouraged to visit as she interviews 28 select Kiwis on their 2020 experiences, inspiring her 14 pieces of art.

Accor has 5,000 hotels and residences across 110 countries. The Group has been acquiring hospitality expertise for more than 50 years, resulting in a portfolio of brands, from luxury to economy, supported by one of the most attractive loyalty programmes in the world.

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