But in mid-March, the Covid-19 pandemic reached the Holland America ship and the voyage took an unexpected turn.
After a 60-day period stuck at sea with multiple quarantines, shipwrecks and cases of coronavirus symptoms among hundreds of passengers and crew, Perrie eventually landed in the Netherlands and made the long voyage back to Australia by air.
Returning to the city of Perth, Perry suffered another mandatory quarantine in a hotel room for two weeks, with no physical interaction with the outside world.
To keep her mind active and committed during this strange time, Perrie decided to get creative.
Each day, the hotel staff delivers three daily meals in paper bags. A long time ago, a stack of them had accumulated, and an idea began to form.
Perrie will make clothes out of paper bags.
“But I think the only paper bags that kept coming and going were really the inspiration.”
Ashleigh Perrie made this incredible outfit out of paper bags.
Courtesy of Ashleigh Perrie
First of all, Perrie had to pack several bags to put on her intricate costumes.
“The first design that came to my mind was a dress, I wanted something very extravagant, very formal and as detailed as I could get with the items I had,” he says.
“But the first thing I finally came up with was the tutu, in the end, the ‘Bag-erina’ as I called it, because I needed the bags to stay in shape for that and many other costumes. I had to cut the bags and use them differently. shapes. “
Perrie became creative while she was quarantined in a hotel room.
Courtesy of Ashleigh Perrie
Along with the ballet costume, Perrie created a suitable tennis outfit that included a racket, tennis skirt and cornice called “The Maria Paper-pova”, a catwalk-style gauntlet called “Queen Quarantina” and of course, the first extravagant dress for once envisioned, under the name “Origami Diva”.
He made the costumes using what he could hold – paper bags, of course, as well as napkins, biodegradable containers and disposable cutlery – and using only a pair of scissors, duct tape and a cotton roll. As the project came together, Perrie shared snapshots of her creations and small video excerpts of the process with her mom and sister.
The quarantine, Perrie says, was not easy, but it was a fun, creative and exciting distraction.
“It was difficult since I was at sea for so long, and obviously we had already done three quarantine periods on the ship,” he recalls.
“So he came back and had to deal with another two-week quarantine and you couldn’t know, he finally hugged your family and friends at the airport when you arrived they were hard mentally, I was just thinking, ‘Oh, it’s a little disappointing coming home.’ ‘”
However, Perrie said she also appreciated her time to come to terms with the situation – and her art store took the time to pass.
“It’s time to download, it’s time to relax and take care of myself after all I’ve been through,” he says.
Eye of the storm
The symptoms spread, four visitors to the ship died and others positive for the virus.
As the ports closed their doors to Zaandam, Holland America developed a second vessel, the Rotterdam, to provide relief and receive healthy visitors, but in the end both ships became infected.
The passengers were finally disembarked at Fort Lauderdale in Florida on April 2, but the crew is not allowed to leave. Instead, the United States had to relocate workers behind the Atlantic to the Netherlands.
“It was definitely a very difficult experience on the ship,” said Perrie, who ended up with Covid’s symptoms.
“The whole ship was locked in, the company handled it amazingly – it was a very difficult situation that no one really had any experience in handling. Our captain was great. They did everything they could to stop the spread and make sure all visitors are kept safe. “
Perrie calls the experience a “real test of mental resilience.”
“We had great faith in each other, on the ship. Obviously, you had to stick with your workshop and get through the crisis. It was difficult, but it was a very, very dynamic experience, I think. “
In late May, the quarantine at the Perrie Hotel ended and she was reunited with her family.
Before leaving the hotel room, Perrie filmed the modeling of each of her creations – and tried to put some of them in her luggage.
It tightened a few there, but it had to leave the majority for recycling.
When Perrie shared a video of her Facebook creations, happy friends and family began sharing it online, and it soon spread.
“I have great answers from everyone, people just appreciate how creative they were and how amazing it was to be able to do that when you’re locked in a room for two weeks and have nothing else to do,” says Perrie.
Perrie hopes her work will make people smile.
Courtesy of Ashleigh Perrie
Did the experience put Perrie on a cruise for life?
No, he says, he loves how working on a cruise allows the crew to travel the world.
However, Perrie hopes that the events of the last few months will lead to a re-examination of the way people react to a crisis at sea.
“The biggest problem we faced was a lot of countries closing their borders and cruise companies trying to do everything they could to bring us home, and they just had a hard time having any humanitarian aid to let us get off.” says Perrie.
“So it would be interesting to see if, from this experience, something more positive can come out of it – and that some policies can be put in place to deal with that.”
Meanwhile, Perrie is happy to put a smile on people’s faces during a difficult time.
“I think a lot of people see it as positive in the whole Covid pandemic and it’s nice to look back,” he said.
She has come in contact with a number of different organizations interested in her work – from a museum and an art gallery, to an organization that works with women suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
In addition, Perrie has managed to grab some paper bags that she has not yet transformed and compress them in her case, so stay tuned for more possible creations in the coming weeks.