Linda Gair

Managing MIQ Isolation Quarantine

medium - acrylic + pencil on board (9 panels)

The concept, as I see it, of Managed Isolation Quarantine ( MIQ ) in our inner city hotels, required a multileveled/multi-storied and ‘storyed’ approach. So these panels began 'life' as a whole work of 9 panels. 

As it started to 'come to life,' I continued to paint them in vertical groups of 3.

They began to develop a type of confusion around the myrid newspaper reports, radio talkback and TV news coverage, both National and International, of managed isolation quarantining!  

Then to finally looking at them as 'singles.' I continued to paint from the quarantiner's viewpoint, to their reported stories of what it felt like to endure the isolation before finally being reunited with the families these returning NZ citizens and foreign relatives, belonged to. Some returnees have endured the distressing 'loss' of loved ones, those they were trying desperately to be reunited with, before they passed away.

Hence the ladders aiding 'metaphorical' escape scenarios I've imagined many quarantiners must have given thought to at some point during their detentions!

Particularly in the early days, we later found out, there had been numerous breaches in security. This was very disturbing news as New Zealanders had been 'sold' the reassurance that these isolation accommodations were well secure and managed.

The difficulties and confusion continues as I write this brief. 

In recent days it has been revealed that the 'voucher' booking system for returning New Zealand citizens hasn't been to full capacity as reported on the Government’s website, and many have now found that they could have returned and fully done the required quarantine in time to be with their families for Christmas.

Will the next work(s) be of empty beds and under capacity! 

There is so much material here for a continuing series of MIQ works. Do I leave the 'politics' out and keep the human content in, or is it all haplessly mixed up together?