Lockdown-Easedown Portaits of Wisbech during Covid

Photographers Jenna Bristow and Steve Hubbard (CLICK Therapy) created a collection of images that tell a story of a town coping with Covid19.

Location:

Wisbech

Dates:

June/July/Aug 2020

Like many artists, Jenna Bristow and Steve Hubbard immediately responded to the Lockdown situation by taking photographs and examining the changes taking place around them and in their community. Capturing the first few weeks after the government announcement revealed a sense of empty spaces and silence in the usually noisy Market Town of Wisbech.

Over the course of the summer the Jenna and Steve cast their eye over the various elements of the town and explored just how different the landscape of familiar buildings, river and parks became.

As photographers interested in using digital cameras to support people’s welbeing and mental health, they also invited people to contribute three words that summed up their experiences of life during Lockdown and the summer months.

worried, unsettled and alone; sad, scared and concerned; frightened, anxious and emotional; missing my family; stuck at home; never ending story; shops are empty; depressed and lonely; concerned, apprehensive, anxious; no way out; everyone’s become selfish; no food left in stores; see no ending; cannot motivate myself; on my own; stay at home; can’t sleep; life goes on (for some); television is depressing; life on hold; lost my motivation

One voicemail message broke the three word rule but Jenna and Steve felt it deserved a place in their collection. Below is the transcript of the voice message left by ‘E’.

The gut wrenching feeling going into Tesco, to buy flour.

Arriving at the aisle, to be faced with empty shelves, but most of all the picture embedded in my brain forever, an old man hunch over shaking his head. I asked if he was alright, he looked deflated, he said, I only wanted one bag of flour for my wife.
People weren’t greedy in the war, they shared.

It upset me. I asked to speak to a manager. I asked if they could please put stock away for the elderly, as most are getting none, and there are no restrictions on the amount. They said they couldn’t, in the morning there would be more. I asked if they would put some away for them, no, first come first served.
Then I suggested that they only allow the elderly in first, as they won’t be greedy, again this was refused giving an excuse. I was talking about elderly being 70 onwards. I am 57. Our elderly went through a lot and should be treated better.
A lot of human kindness went out the window.

The thing with toilet paper. When asking Lidl, I was advised there were men buying the pallet loads as soon as they were on the shop floor. I asked why they are allowing it. They couldn’t stop them. Then came rationing, bit late but welcome by all. One flaw, you could shop, get two of everything etc. Pay, load your car up. Come right back in, do it all over again, go to a differnet till, this happened over an over. A cashier explanined how it was in Tesco.

Just have to shake your head at people who caused more suffering to those who didn’t need it.
No wonder our elderly were left with nothing.

‘E’ author

We are proud to add this collection to our Creative Conversations in Isolation programme and we have produced a book which is being distributed to local community centres, museums and libraries.

Their work also features in the Creative People and Places Case Study: Working With Artists Through Lockdown

The full collection of photos can be seen here on our Flickr gallery.

Contact Jenna & Steve to find out more about CLICK THERAPY.