• Ruth Towell

Lockdown Reflections - Leah

Updated: Jun 19

As we are standing on the turning point of the lockdown being eased in the UK, I decided to embark on a new portrait project. Capturing this moment in time, with reflections from individuals about this season and thoughts about how a post-lockdown world might look.

Each portrait is a window into an individual's life, shot through the window of their home capturing the invisible separation that lockdown brings.

This is Leah, have a read of her story:

"Prior to lockdown I was a final year student studying Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales. Two days before the PM implemented lockdown, I decided to pack up and move out of my flat in Cardiff back to Peterborough. I'm incredibly lucky to have done this as I dread to think what effect this would have had on my mental health being 200miles from home in a flat on my own.

During this time I have shared lockdown at home with my mother who is a key worker, often having to return to the office to help her colleagues with issues working from home and working around the clock. She does such an amazing job. Due to university migrating to online learning, this really took a toll on my final project as I was working on a community led photography project with a local charity. Due to social distancing a lot of these services got closed.

I was left feeling lost with my photography and was given a choice of starting a whole new project a month before my final deadline. Which to me seemed unthinkable with the restrictions. This look a toll on my mental health as I got frustrated with the idea that all the work I had put into this project may get pushed aside.

Once I handed in my final project at university, I felt lost. My graduation in July had been postponed and I couldn't go out and celebrate my final year with my fellow peers and friends from university. I couldn't return to my job due to everyone working from home and I was twiddling my thumbs with what to do with my days, not knowing when normality may resume.

The positives which I have discovered through lockdown is that I've been able to start working on an up-cycling project which I was going to hold off until the summer, I’ve additionally learnt new skills utilising online courses.

However, picturing life after lockdown is difficult. It's weird to think how day to day life could resume as normal so quickly. It will be a long time coming before we can return to the "old normal". But we have to persevere and overcome these difficult times to be able to have those happy moments again, even just the little things we once took for granted."

If you're interested in taking a look at Leah's work, you can have a browse through her website here: https://www.leahbarfieldphotography.co.uk/

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If you are interested in taking part in this project and live in the Peterborough area, drop me an email: ruthtowellprojects@gmail.com

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© 2020 Ruth Towell