Anya Shire-Plumb

About Anya Shire-Plumb

I am a student at Brandeis University, studying Psychology and Fine Art. I appreciate the way people behave towards each other and towards the visual. From small sketches to large scale projects, my art is an exploration of mark making and the observation of life. I love drawing, painting, languages, and exploring new countries :)

About Birdcage

My response to quarantine during Covid-19: The Birdcage. I used layers of colour to create a painting that expresses the feelings I have felt during the pandemic. I cut holes in the paper, as well as glued pieces of painted paper onto it to give it a textured and even more ‘caged’ feel. Although I have felt trapped over the past year because of having to stay inside, I have also felt a relief from my usually hectic day-to-day. Despite the ‘bars’ around my usual freedom and independence, I have felt grateful that I have had safe places to quarantine, and that I am in financially good standing. Being able to embrace the opportunity to cultivate my relationship with my parents and my brother this past Summer was a blessing in disguise. In this way, I think this piece best represents Shmita: a period of rest in order to improve ourselves and the world around us. The way in which we have ‘sacrificed our flight in order to help others fly’ strongly reminds me of the way our ancestors left their crops for the poor to pick up. To me, the bars of the birdcage are beautiful because although there may be ugliness outside, staying inside to protect others is an act worthy of beauty.