Photo exhibition puts the focus on Covid-19

Photo exhibition puts the focus on Covid-19

23 July 2021

Photo exhibition puts the focus on Covid-19
Our latest Art in Focus exhibition, Looking Back, Looking Forward, features the work of two London-based photographic artists - each with their own perspectives on the societal impacts of the pandemic.

The exhibition, now on display at Charing Cross Hospital, features the work of Bindi Vora and Alys Tomlinson, London based photographic artists, with two very different portrayals of how the last year of solitude, anxiety, sorrow and hope has affected us all.

The beautiful and powerful images allude to the challenging repercussions of the pandemic but collectively portray a sense of resilience and optimism as we look towards the future.

Alys Tomlinson’s Lost Summer features a selection of her recent prom portraits from 2020. The photos capture the poignancy of a lost summer for teenagers who were unable to sit their school exams or mark this significant step in growing up and leaving school.

Once lockdown eased, she began to move around her neighbourhood photographing the teenage children of local friends from her street and the surrounding area and posted them on Instagram. As word spread, so the project grew and the significance of the subject matter became more apparent as summer evolved.

“The portraits represent a loss and longing, but also celebrate each teenager as an individual, navigating this strange and challenging time.”

Alys Tomlinson

Tomlinson said: “With school proms cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I photographed local teenagers dressed in outfits they would have worn to prom. Instead of being in the usual settings of school halls or hotel function rooms, I captured them in their gardens, backyards and local parks.

“Many of them had their final exams cancelled and had nothing to mark this significant step in growing up and leaving school. The portraits were all taken locally in north London. They represent a loss and longing, but also celebrate each teenager as an individual, navigating this strange and challenging time.”

In Mountain of Salt, Bindi Vora has put together a collection of found images, appropriated text and digital shape collages, initially conceptualised as a human response to the unfolding of Covid-19.

The wry, sometimes humorous, text-based series of collages focuses on the language used over the last year and developed from collecting words and sentences derived from politicians, journalists and individuals all sharing their commentary, updates or thoughts.

“I am interested in how we might unite and reflect on this time, as we all live in the hope of clambering out and making it to the other side unscathed.”

Bindi Vora

Vora said: “In March 2020 as the pandemic gripped the world, I like many others became acutely aware of the landscape in which we were living, where everything felt amplified; clinging to the news for updates, statistics and curves – in my own way analysing the myriad forms of information being shared. For me, it highlighted the way words and speech have a physical presence, a bearing upon us and carry weight.

“Through this work I am interested in how we might unite and reflect on this time currently being experienced in our individual and collective ways, as we all live in the hope of clambering out and making it to the other side unscathed. This curious collection of phrases speaks to the dissemination of language and its effect upon us.”

You can view an online version of the exhibition here.