#WestCork – Sherkin Island cartoon book looks back at #LifeDuringLockdown

7 December 2020
By Tom Collins

Jo Ashby, an artist who lives on Sherkin Island, has chronicled her life during lockdown and beyond in a series of hilarious cartoon drawings, which have now been made into a book to support two charities.

All profits for ‘Corona Chronicles – the book’ will be divided between Cork Penny Dinners in Cork and Lewisham Food Bank in London to raise much-needed funds for these two charities before Christmas.

‘Corona Chronicles – the book’ is a reproduction of Jo’s notebook which records the daily ups and downs of life in lockdown.

Jo started the project during the first lockdown in March 2020 when she and her partner, Mick, had travelled to London from Sherkin Island to complete the sale of their house, but had to stay there because of travel restrictions.

“We had made the decision that 2020 was going to be the year that we finally sold our London house and moved full-time to live on Sherkin Island as we had been dividing our time between the two places for the last 27 years. Our intention had been to arrive back quietly on the island in March, as usual, without any fuss or bother… and never leave. Then Covid-19 swept across the globe and changed all of our lives and plans.

“We decided to sit it out in the UK, whilst the house sale creaked on and so that we could be near my elderly parents as none of us knew what the future held at that point.

“With my London art studio half-packed, ready for the move, I decided to start this little visual diary to record our daily life. I posted some images on social media and was over-whelmed by the positive response.”

Some of the pictures echo many shared experiences, such as baking, online fitness videos, the walks, gardening and Zoom chats, but mostly they tell the very individual and sometimes hilarious story of Jo and Mick’s efforts to move to West Cork in the middle of a global pandemic.

“It has been a difficult year for all of us but for some families and individuals, it has been particularly harsh. Although I was excited to have the Corona Chronicles published, I couldn’t contemplate making any money from the book. All profits will help to raise much-needed funds to support Cork Penny Dinners and Lewisham Food Bank, which is a London-based charity supporting families in the London Borough of Lewisham, where Mick and I taught for many years,” said Jo.

Corona Chronicles – the book costs €16.50 plus p&p. Please contact Jo Ashby directly on 086 0808225 or email jo@jo-ashby.com or visit her on-line shop https://www.jo-ashby.com/corona-chronicles

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