From My Window, 2020

In 2020, The New York Times asked 17 artists to capture the view from their window during lockdown. Inspired by this project, Toitoi invited young New Zealand artists who had been published in the journal over the last five years to share their own perspective. A selection of this art was published in Toitoi 20.

From my window, I have watched the autumn colours explode into the trees. I feel safe in my bubble, getting lost in my artwork and writing. The road is oddly quiet and the pīwakawaka dart confidently around my garden.

— Sienna Trolle, age 10

NELSON   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 18

I hope that after all this, people won't just go back to their daily routines. I hope that the human race will open up their eyes and see what we have been doing to the world and, most of all, I pray that we will change our ways.

— Phoebe Leenhouwers, age 14

TASMAN   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 10, 12, THE JILLION & THE SOUTHEAST ASIA SPECIAL ISSUE

When things are getting hard, our windmill is like a beacon guiding us through.

— Meg Marshall, age 13

WELLINGTON   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 2, 4, 6, THE JILLION & 15

Everything is silent, it feels like I’m in space.

— Carmen Baxter, age 11

AUCKLAND   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 18

Lockdown has been okay for me. It's been a relaxing time to do my hobbies and catch up on school work.

— Katherine McArthur, age 13

​DUNEDIN   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 19

This is what I see when I look out the kitchen window. Forest is the grey boy and Jeni is the brown girl donkey. They don't know it's lockdown and smile and hee-haw when they see me — calling out to me to bring apples and to give them a scratch. They are my neighbours' donkeys and I really like having them over our back fence. I am happy the donkeys and all of my friends and family have been well in lockdown.

— Zara Hermens, age 13

WELLINGTON   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 15 & THE LATIN AMERICA SPECIAL ISSUE

I’ve just been in a cloud-painting mood. Metaphorically speaking.

— Vita Lawson, age 13

WELLINGTON   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 19

From my window, I spy a very neighborly native friend. The wood pigeon or kererū in all his colourful glory, perched on a branch. He's there most days, singing his song and chatting away to whoever will listen. It's a clear, crisp sound that is welcoming as the world is so quiet right now.I look out at a very green garden, all of the trees we planted ourselves and the pizza oven my Dad built using 100-year-old bricks from a renovated Devonport villa we found. During this lockdown for Covid-19, I look out my window and it seems they have always been there. Time has evaporated in our bubble.

— Logan Simich-Burr, age 14

AUCKLAND   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 10, 11, 12, THE JILLION, TOITOI 15, THE LATIN AMERICA SPECIAL ISSUE & THE SOUTHEAST ASIA SPECIAL ISSUE

During lockdown, I noticed lots of native birds around, especially a lot of fantails. I like not having to go to school but I do miss my friends.

— Jess Dean, age 12

LOWER HUTT   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 12, THE JILLION & TOITOI 15

When I look out of my jail-like lockdown window on the Otago Peninsula, I can hear tūī squawking to each other, not social distancing at all. I can also see autumn leaves littering the damp grass, dotted with holes from my football boots.

— Sam McGee, age 13

DUNEDIN   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 12, THE JILLION & THE LATIN AMERICA SPECIAL ISSUE

My spinosaurus is fighting and killing the Covid-19 virus!

— Louis Nguyen, age 7

LOWER HUTT   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 15 & THE SOUTHEAST ASIA SPECIAL ISSUE

Outside my window, I see my cheeky cat Riley perched under the passionfruit vines, thinking about whether to come inside for a hug or whether to jump the fence and sneakily spy on the chirping birds above.

— Manea Heeney, age 11

AUCKLAND   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 11, 16, THE JILLION & THE SOUTHEAST ASIA SPECIAL ISSUE

I played a lot of cricket before lockdown and the season was cut short. This is me walking, imagining playing again, represented in my shadow.

— Wilkie Proudfoot, age 13

WELLINGTON   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 9, THE JILLION & TOITOI 16

The places I have depicted here, which I've captured in collages, are in my imaginary country. Creating these during and after lockdown, it gave me a sense I was travelling- a colourful juxtaposition to the reality of life within my house.

— Walt Hamer, age 14

WELLINGTON   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 10 & THE JILLION

I've been missing all my music groups during lockdown, so this painting depicts me looking out a window, playing a duet with someone in a house across the street.

— Monica Koster, age 18

CHRISTCHURCH   |   PUBLISHED IN TOITOI 1 (COVER), 3 & THE JILLION