Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 10 July 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: Art show reveals a snapshot of British life under lockdown

“I saw this guy there with really what I considered over the top protection clothing for going shopping"

A new exhibition of inspiring and thought-provoking photographs has shown how the UK has adapted to life under coronavirus restrictions.

The photographs in the Historic England exhibition show neighbours separated by fences, improvised haircuts as well as pets, children and life working from home.

Other images in the Picturing Lockdown show feature gardens and parks and the solace people took from the natural world.

In one picture, a shackled bicycle is chained up in the kitchen; in another a couple dressed up in their wedding outfits on the day they were meant to be married in Crete; a third shows murals praising the NHS.

Historic England photographer Alun Bull and his wife, stay at home. Alun Bull/Historic England
Historic England photographer Alun Bull and his wife, stay at home. Alun Bull/Historic England

Anand Chhabra took a shot of a supermarket shopper in protective equipment.

“I saw this guy there with really what I considered over-the-top protection clothing for going shopping … He said he can’t take any risks with his health as he recently had major heart surgery and is worried about getting the disease.”

Lucy Bullivant photographed the National Health Service rainbow balloons.

“[It was] a display put up by staff at my local National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery on April 23 to thank the public for their support. Gone by April 28 when I returned but remains forever a symbol of creative and supportive collaboration and generosity,” she said.

Steven Baker’s photo of a mother and child in a tunnel in Stroud, Gloucestershire, also made English Heritage’s list.

“A tunnel leads to our nearest open space of Victory Park where we often take our daily exercise. Due to social distancing we have to wait our turn to pass through the narrow tunnel,” Mr Baker said.

Historic England asked people to send in photos from around England during the coronavirus lockdown for one week starting on April 29.

“The fascinating response to our Picturing Lockdown call-out sheds light on our collective and individual experiences of lockdown and provide a snapshot into this unusual time that will be accessible for future generations to see and learn from,” said Claudia Kenyatta, director of regions at Historic England.

It was the first time since the Second World War that the British public had been asked to contribute to a national archive.

The aim was to spark conversations about identity as the country got to grips with a new world that included a new appreciation for essential workers, social distancing and face masks.

Historic England said recurring themes include the concept of emptiness and leisure time activities, from board games to baking.

From the 2,984 submissions, English Heritage has compiled a gallery of 200 images – 100 from the public submissions, and 100 from contemporary artists and their own professional photographers

Updated: June 5, 2020 06:58 PM

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