Covid-19 is a time many of us have never experienced. A time of isolation and being apart from friends and family.
I wanted to capture people and how their lives may or may not have changed due to isolation. Do people find they have spare time and how are they spending this?
I asked a few of my close friends/family if I was able to take their picture to document their Covid-19 experience.
I set myself some parameters to follow government guidelines to assist in flattening the curve. These being, I would not enter anyone’s homes and would adhere to social distancing rules.
"One week into isolation and I started running out of ways to procrastinate, so I decided to buy a keyboard off Facebook Marketplace. I took piano lessons until I was about 10, at which point I decided I had better things to do than practice playing. My partner started practicing his guitar again so I had a sudden motivation to try and learn. My mum and nana always said to me that one day I would wish that I’d never stopped - who knew it would take a worldwide pandemic for me to realise they were right?"
Whilst taking Courtney's picture, I asked her to think about what isolation meant to her.
"Isolation to me is honestly very boring at the moment, but I also know how important it is to help flatten that curve."
"I guess the activity I'm focusing on during isolation is parenting, sounds silly, I know. Having been working and studying full time for the last 4 years, Eden was in childcare 5 days a week. I never had the opportunity to do things like painting, chalk drawings or long bike rides with her. Parenting just consisted of getting the everyday jobs done like cooking, bathing and reading a book at bed time because I always had to move on the next thing on my to-do list. I always wanted to do the "fun stuff" with my kids but didn't have the luxury.
Isolation to me is extra time and the opportunity to go beyond the checklist of parenting."
"The activity I am working with is ecstatic ritual. This working in particular I am making offerings to several deities for work we are weaving around love, intimacy and desire. While I do regularly do this work, isolation has meant I can really hone into the fine details of ritual, engaging all my senses in a much deeper way, from the smells of the rose petals to the feeling of the silk on my skin and the sounds whispered in my ears."
I asked James what isolation mean to him:
"Isolation to me is a blank slate....we can create whatever we want from it...but it’s also okay for it to be left blank for a while. Capitalism is falling for a reason. To fight the fall of capitalism with the capitalist mindset of productivity is not how we will rebuild."
"I’m focusing on all the things I’ve been ‘meaning to do’ for a long time.. there’s no force, I do what I feel like doing each day. Drawing is a big one because I always wanted to focus on it but felt it unproductive.. now productivity means nothing.
Isolation to me is living from yourself."
"I decided to adopt a dog from the RSPCA to help me stay calm and feel happy during isolation. I’ve wanted a dog for a long time, and the RSPCA were desperate to adopt as many animals out before they had to close their doors. I saw Lulu on the website and knew I had to get her. I had no idea how much there was to learn about pups so this has been a very steep learning curve for my partner and I. Lulu has made us a family and I’m so glad we adopted her. She keeps everything steady during a really unsettling time."
I asked Emma what Isolation meant to her:
"Isolation to me is my chance to come back to myself and figure out what’s important. A holding pattern before the world resets itself. The time before change and growth."
"I’m trying to keep myself busy as much as possible. I’m still working and studying, but there are still gaps to fill in each day. At the moment, I’m practising Auslan (Australian sign language) in my down time. I really enjoy learning new languages, particularly Auslan, but I find that I’m forcing myself to practise because I’m anxious and need a distraction. It’s nice to feel productive, but I know that the longer I try to ignore my anxieties, the worse they’ll get. It will be nice to have a break when the semester ends, but I’m not sure how well I’ll manage with all that free time on my hands."
I asked Jaiden what isolation meant to her while I took her photo.
"Isolation to me is lonely, but it demonstrates the value and strength of my relationships with others as we do our best to support each other through these strange times."
"During isolation I’ve tried to keep some form of normalcy, so mostly I’ve just adapted activities I did prior to lockdown. I wake up, shower and get ready for a day as if i’m going to leave the house. So far I haven’t picked up any new hobbies but now that I have a lot of time I think i’ve written about a whole albums worth of new music. Other than that it’s been a lot of exercising, hanging with the cat and trying to understand online university content.
Isolation to me is rediscovery. I think I got very invested in a routine and forgot about the person underneath. I definitely will have a new appreciation for life when everything returns to some form of normal."
"Isolation to me has been a forced life reset. It’s caused a break in the pattern of my (rather intense) work grind. It’s involved being unemployed, which isn’t something I’m used to or comfortable with. It’s been forcing myself to lean into that discomfort, and to learn about and appreciate other sides of myself.
The lease on my place was coming up, and with no income I wasn’t sure about what to do. Long story short, I’ve managed to find myself living in an incredible little granny house on a friends property, rent free. I’m full of gratitude, and am making the most of my down time by appreciating the surrounding nature, exercising, working on some creative ideas of my own and cooking too much food."