‘ The extraction of the essential meaning or most important aspects of something.’
Normal life as we know it has been distilled down and in that way aspects of our lives have become amplified, the importance of home, family, friendships and the natural world. Our thoughts are more concentrated and what looks and feels normal, that of walking the streets or shopping have become surreal scenes.
The project was born out of the need to express and understand my own thoughts and feelings about Covid-19. I felt lost with no expression and as like many creatives my commercial photography work was put on hold as soon as lockdown hit us. Leicester City Centre was the best place to start. The City has been such a big part of my working life. The project is about capturing a new normality concentrated down. We can focus on street scenes without the hustle and bustle of people and our quiet thoughts have space to breathe. There is a feeling of uncertainty in the World and I want to draw on that uncertainty by photographing a series of portraits, people I have never met, on the streets of Leicester. Each of us has a story and that story has meaning.
As well as capturing photographs, I have also created a short film with the echo of nature flowing through it. The need for the natural world has become even more vital for our mental well being. Nature is thriving even more so and there are obvious lessons to be drawn from this.
BBC Radio Leicester Breakfast Show:
Presenter Jimmy Carpenter invited myself and Jessica Palma onto the show (5th June 2020). I photographed Jessica on Belgrave Gate.
BBC East Midlands:
Journalist Amy Payne and Camera man John from BBC East Midlands made contact with me. They followed my Journey through the City as I interviewed and photographed people. It was aired on Friday 26th June 2020.
BBC online featured a variety of my photographs: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-53111634
Presenter Gareth Evans highlighted the project on the 9th July and said ‘ photographer Beth Walsh has been capturing some amazing images of Leicester during the pandemic ( both before and safely during local lockdown). The pictures show strength and character. Just beautiful.’