Updated: Mar 20, 2021
When That Art Gallery in Bristol closed on March 23, 2020 for the first COVID-19 lockdown, gallery owner Andy Phipps issued an 'open call' for images inspired by peoples response to COVID and the unprecedented lockdown .
His gallery is on Upper Maudlin Street opposite Bristol’s main hospital and although the public had been ordered to "Stay Home" the city’s essential workers and NHS staff continued to pass the now empty windows of the gallery. As the public were encouraged to take a socially distanced walk once a day, many people, as did I, passed the gallery windows too. So, Andy's challenge was to consider how a gallery that was unable to open could involve a disconnected public by sharing their insights of the unprecedented situation.
The challenge Andy gave to us was to submit photos that embodied our feelings while acknowledging that our feelings were not unique. Hundreds of images were submitted with just 200 exhibited by taking the digital submissions and using polaroid film to create prints.
Two of my photos were selected and after the end of the exhibition Andy collated the images and has published them as a record of that event through Tangent books.
My two images were Self Portrait and Redundancy and are shown below.
Its a lovely book and can be bought here:
Redundancy : A stock pile of catholic artefacts found in a school store room.
Self Portrait : Even though I find the isolation of the studio welcoming, enforced isolation is diminishing . Eventually what little remains may be unrecognisable.
The book and polaroids in the gallery window.