29th March 2020

Life has shifted, there is no normal and with each minute that passes our landscape continues to change and morph into new shapes that we never knew was even possible.  The land we have carefully shaped and sculpted to create a life that we can live in is now redundant and no longer relevant. You can fight, scrabble, grasp and gasp, you can cry, mourn, freeze or and become suspended also.  How we each live in this moment will feel and look different  as we each experience our personal version of  financial, health, and personal stress.  I am waking up at 3am and on the edge of consciousness I experience a sense of loss, it is so great that it manages to prod me in my sleep and demand that I feel this in most dark and loneliest time of the night.  I feel it, walk downstairs make a drink return to bed and write some notes and let it be.  I check on Fox sleeping soundly through the darkness and as I lay down to fall back to rest I try and let go of my fears and accept that this is my new normal.  Loss of human connection, loss of control, loss of work, loss of earnings, loss of friends, loss of family, loss of business, loss of freedom…. need I go on. Everything is up for grabs and nothing at the same time, how can we navigate our way through this?   I have been looking back at my notes and I see the word ‘fear’ come up time and time again and start to feel disarmed very quickly as I feel my breath shorten  I feel trapped and powerless.  I start to spin and think maybe in this moment I have to do a huge marketing push, try to beat the algorithm,  write a new business plan and analyse the market and what possible impact a recession will have on the industry I work in…… I need a lie down it is exhausting and I quickly feel like I am in sinking sand.  Instead I  have started to let go and all I can do is day to day embrace and explore the freedom we currently have been gifted and turn towards being creative.  We have been stripped back to just our skeletons, a state that is the most brutal I have ever been part of.   I have experienced hardship and difficulty like we all have in I cast my mind back to remember what were my coping mechanisms then.   I have always in these moments been able to lean into my work, connect to humans, create beautiful images;  it really is a very cathartic and never ending source of my creativity even more so when the going gets tough.  Right now we have the gift of time and space so I am going to spend it in two ways.  Firstly connecting with what I have shot, going back through my archives both professionally and personally.   I am currently  looking at my portfolio,  reviewing and evaluating, challenging myself to identify the meaning of my image making.  I am carefully going through both my hard rives and my personal photographs that rummaging through in boxes.  Questions are coming up; ‘what am I looking at’ and ‘what am I drawn to’, ‘what am I connecting with’ and how do they make me feel and think and does this actually align with how I feel about the world and my values.  People are central to this and I am really looking at how I am capturing their essence or relationship to others and how I feel these moments and capture them.    Secondly I am going to try and create something and give myself permission to play again within the constraints of the lock down.  I do not have any firm outcome in mind, seeking out freedom in my work, what is my work? what could my work be?  I have started with writing and not reaching for my camera, I have started to let go of what I would ‘normally’ do i.e pick up my camera.  I am reading lots, listening to music, running, pottering at my allotment and I am actively encouraging myself to daydream.  My aim is to play with this everyday with Fox by my side at home within the confides of our small house.  My online spaces will maybe start to look and feel a bit different as I start to document and create and share with more dialogue and experimentation.  The algorithm is not important in this moment, it is what it really means to being stripped back to the bones of being human; so onwards into this new space we have been granted and be grateful for the sun and the air we breathe.   

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