Artists under Lockdown / Marcin Rusak
Designer based in Poland.
The Design Edit (TDE): How are you keeping busy in self-isolation?
Marcin Rusak (MR): Personally, I am using this time to take a breather. This has been a long coming, much awaited mental and physical break. My studio has been working non-stop for the past six months, preparing for exhibitions. Much of the stress was caused by taking decisions and shifting projects earlier on, before the pandemic escalated. As the lockdown phase approached I decided to leave the city for the countryside and go through this time in isolation in nature. I am resting, reading and taking time to think without the pressure of daily studio duties. I am thankful for the surrounding nature: lakes, forests and animals. Observing the natural cycles, from bird rituals to the crackling of pine cones, reminds me that everything happens for a reason and it gives me optimism.
TDE: Everyone’s pace of life has slowed down considerably; what is the impact of this new rhythm on your work and home life?
MR: My studio and productions are split between countries and locations. I am used to travelling between office, studio and production sites – so my daily routine requires dealing with projects and various situations at the same time, in different places. This gave us all good preparation for the remote work. Each of us in the studio is in a different location, but we all manage to successfully exchange ideas and manage projects. Home life has changed significantly as for the past three and a half weeks I have been living in a lake house, so it feels like a strange type of holiday. This time of the year the area is completely empty, there are almost no people and very few cars. It is the opposite to what my life was before lockdown.
TDE: Do you have a favourite self-isolation recipe to share with us?
MR: My diet revolves around locally grown, seasonal products, mostly plant-based, with an addition of fresh fish. This area is famous for some fantastic smoked fish.
TDE: What is saving your sanity under lockdown?
MR: I try not to go into deep emotional spaces – either happy nor sad. I am mentally prepared that this is going to take a long time and I believe adjusting to this new reality is the key to sanity. I deeply enjoy natural light these days. The house I am staying in has windows from all the sides and the day here is strongly dictated by sunlight or moonlight. Each of the windows presents another aspect of light being projected on the lake, trees, field or the road nearby. The play of shadows and tonality of early spring colours is something that I follow daily and it helps me to calm down.
TDE: Which online exhibition/gallery viewing room, or other internet offerings have caught your eye?
MR: Glenn Adamson’s Design in Dialogue series of zoom interviews in collaboration with Friedman Benda.