Since lockdown began I’ve been compelled to document everything. I normally take a lot of photographs, but now I’m never without my camera, capturing my walks, shopping trips, views from windows, meals, postal delivery, bin day, zoom chats and quizzes, every mundane detail. Screenshots of Social Media and images of TV programmes, are all being recorded. There’s a sense that we’re in a unique period of history and that things may never be the same again. It’s been a time to notice small changes and details.
It’s been fascinating to follow the work of photographers on Instagram who are connecting through the ‘mass isolation project’. Inspired by the UK Mass Observation movement of the 1930s photographers globally are sharing stories of their environments during the pandemic. I’m sharing a few examples of this compelling work below.
In Hampshire, UK Tamara Lawrence has created a series of combinations of pasted newspaper headlines with interiors of her home conveying thought provoking messages about the hopes and fears of families in isolation. You can follow Tamara’s Instagram feed here.
Liv Mann-Tremblay based in Montreal, Quebec has created atmospheric evening portraits of people self-isolating at home. These are ‘photographed with zero physical contact through closed windows (with permission) and communicated via phone’. Alongside the images her subjects have written their own personal reflections, revealing moving insights into life under lockdown. You can follow her work on Instagram.
In the UK Leominster based photographer Christopher Preece has been recording lockdown in his home town. This includes a series of images juxtaposing government messages about the first phase of lockdown. The messages have been inspired by a twitter feed highlighting contrary messages. You can follow Christopher’s work via Instagram here.
Lucia Hererro based in Barcelona has made a series of portraits of the domestic life of herself and her young daughter. Lucia describes, ‘Portraits at home. Spending time together. Walking on the furniture. Singing unsingable songs. Reading unreadable news. Imagining unliveable futures. Smiling to my child’. (24th March). Link to Lucia’s Instagram account here.
Seeing the creative work of these photographers has spurred me on in my own documentation. I’m enjoying the new intimate ways of recording life. Looking at families gathered in doorways or front gardens, viewing scenes from the outdoors in and from interior to exterior. Similarly via TV and social media streams it’s captivating to see people in their own homes. To me these new insights are far more engaging than pre lockdown TV. As we move from ‘stay home’ to ‘stay alert’ in England I will continue to record the small details. You can follow my photographs via my Instagram account.