Man Spends Lockdown Building a “Gateway to Imagination” in His Backyard

In spite of the hardships the coronavirus has brought, many people have used their quarantine time as an opportunity to stretch their imaginations. From crafting tiny furniture for squirrels to decorating walls with floral murals to recreating famous works of art with household objects, there seems to be no limit to what people can do. The latest quarantine project that the internet has fallen in love with is an incredible backyard installation called Gateway to the Imagination.

Radio correspondent Kimberly Adams shared images of her Uncle David's art project on Twitter, as well as a short transcript of how she heard about it. It turns out that her uncle, David North, wanted a creative outlet to keep him busy during the lockdown. This led him to construct the Gateway to the Imagination—a large sculpture in his backyard that includes dozens of found branches, spare wood, and a handmade door.”It looks kind of surreal,” North tells NPR. “The doorway being dark kind of draws you in. I didn't know it was going to end up being declared a piece of art.”

When Adams saw the enormous outpour of love for her Uncle David, she shared more insight into the man's life, beginning with a picture of him and his husband of 30 years, David York. While North enjoys working in the backyard of their rural Maryland home, York is an avid baker who makes “an amazing butterscotch raspberry pudding.” Their shared first name has earned them the affectionate hashtag #TheDavids.

North explains that he began taking on more outdoor projects when his husband started having health issues. Working with his hands is how he deals with stress. However, he emphasizes that it is not escapism, but an act of catharsis. “Catharsis is accepting the realities of the problems that happen in our lives and doing something constructive with it—processing it,” North explains. “I feel creativity is a way to process it in constructive, productive, positive ways.” In light of the recent news events, North feels as though it's more important than ever to engage with the community. For that reason, he and York have decided to become a more active presence on Instagram to try and share messages of love and respect.

Correspondent Kimberly Adams shared images of her uncle's art project called Gateway to the Imagination on Twitter.


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Doorway to Imagination, note poppies in the window, and wild raspberry vines beginning to entwine.

A post shared by David K. North (@david.k.north) on

The tweet went viral, as thousands of people fell in love with “Uncle David” and his wooden art installation.


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A post shared by David K. North (@david.k.north) on

David North and his husband of 30 years, David York, have won over the hearts of many around the world and are now affectionately known as #TheDavids.

The adorable duo hopes to continue bringing joy and spreading positivity.


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The dragon is almost finished. A creative way utilize last years leaves.

A post shared by David K. North (@david.k.north) on

Kimberly Adams: Website | Twitter
David North: Apple Music | Instagram
David York: Instagram
h/t: [NPR]

All images via Twitter and Instagram.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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