Undiagnosed

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Photo Fringe 2020: TAKE/MAKE 3 – 31 October

 

Un Diagnosed

Photography Project

‘We tend to think of colonialism as an unstoppable wave, or a platoon of tanks moving smoothly across the plain, when in fact it is more like the trickle of an ever-multiplying virus through the arterial network.’  ~ Robert Moore: On Trails

 

Exhibition Details

As part of the Photo Fringe 2020 I will be presenting my new project Undiagnosed, a series of photographic portraits taken during the Covid-19 Lockdown. The exhibition will be at the West Buildings Shelter which is situated on Marine Parade, Worthing (opposite West Buildings Road), a pedestrian walkway that runs along the seafront. It will consist of 30 portraits of Worthing residents taken between the period of the first Prime Minister’s ‘stay at home’ speech on 16th March 2020 and his second ‘stay at home go to work’ speech on 10th May 2020. The West Shelter is an outdoor venue which means it will be open for public viewing 24/7. I will be working alongside and supported by Colonnade House, a creative hub in Worthing that supports local artists and designers. The exhibition opens on Sat 3rd Oct 2020 and will run throughout the month of October. 

Keeping within the current guidelines I will be available to meet up to talk about the exhibition (for small, safe, social bubbles) throughout the weekends of October. The times I am available will be listed as appointments on the PhotoFringe website, under my Exhibition listings. If you would like to meet to discuss the project further or require information about how to find it please contact me. I am happy to arrange a suitable time to meet. The best way to contact me is via my Instagram messages: please leave your enquiry and name and I will get to you as soon as possible.

Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/barryfalk/

Location

Screen Shot 2020-09-23 at 16.07.22 (1)

 

Project Description below images

 

 

 

 

 

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Issy, Karen, Andrew

 

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Sian

 

Sian

 

 

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Jo and Lizzi

 

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Kathy and Uwe

 

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Uwe

 

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Brenda

 

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Neighbour at No.8

 

415A0091

 

 

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Becky and Owen

 

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Owen

 

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Fiona and Mark

 

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Mark

 

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Sarah, Peter, Nancy

 

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Rob, Hattie, Tilly, Amy, Lulu

 

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Darren and Charlie

 

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Darren and Charlie

 

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Bella, Flo, Nadia

 

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Kate, Isaac, Eva 

 

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Isaac

 

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Adam, Lola, Molly

 

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Jon and family

 

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Jon

 

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Mel and Si

 

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Slavka and Misa

 

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Misa

 

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Jey

 

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Paul and Zoe

 

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Robbie 

 

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Laura and Felix

 

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Elin, Andy, Leonardo (the dog) 

 

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Quincy, Meredith, Tim, Doris

 

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Ryan and Claire

 

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Olive & Julie

 

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Andy, May, Jane, Sonny

 

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Monica and Dee 

 

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Lisa, Laurie, Lee, Eddie

 

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Sam, Jonty, Stitch, Morwenna

 

Sam, Jonty, Stitch, Morwenna close

 

 

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Fata and Kate

 

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Fata

 

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Dewey

 

Dewey 1-3

 

 

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Chris and Sandra

 

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Grace, Gila, Mary, Rumble

 

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Grace

 

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Fraser, Millie, Jock, Andrea, Rosie

 

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Pete, Quinnellis, Rosamela

 

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Zoe, Daniel, James 

 

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Roo & daughters

 

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Laura & family

 

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Carrie, Daisy, Paul, Joseph, Lily & Trixie

 

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Jane & George

 

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Jane

 

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Silvio, Loredana, Nina, Mia

 

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Alfie, Sel, Claire, Nova (Panda) 

 

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Rowena, May, Imogen, Finn

 

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Constantine, Trisha, Jasper & Florence

 

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Lucy and Yasmin

 

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Clair

 

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Pete and Wendy 

 

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Gwen and Richard

 

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Della, Clive, Sandy and Teddy

 

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Zoe, Solomon, Merle, Richard 

 

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415A2276

 Nadia, Mark, Sam, Fin

 

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Nick, Hannah, Matilda, Emily  

 

415A2509

 

 

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Andrew, Andrea, Olive, Sonny

 

415A8582

Ros, Richard, Alex

 

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415A2569

Kim and Rick

 

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Liz and Sarah 

 

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Alan and Gordon

 

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Chris and Dave

 

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Chiara, Jackie and Chester 

 

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Project Rationale

In response to the Covid-19 Pandemic I decided, like many photographers, to try to capture some of the atmosphere of these strange times. My project rationale was to photograph as many of my friends and neighbours as possible within walking distance of where I live. I was restricted by Government Guidelines around public safety; going out was itself a risk, so I limited myself to one or two photoshoots per daily walk. This required careful planning, setting up a system of appointments, maintaining a safe distance, using a long lens for the close up shots. I sent out messages with a simple request: I wanted to photograph people on their front doorsteps, informal pose (messy hair and embarrassing slippers would be fine). The response was overwhelmingly affirmative: people wanted to be a part of a collective project, to be noticed in this time of social distancing. As the project has developed it has begun to link people together, forming a collective sense of self in this socially isolating time.

The title Undiagnosed refers to the many without a diagnosis, not in quarantine yet still socially distant and for some, isolated by circumstances. More to the point, these were my friends and neighbours, whose homes were now off limits, making the situation even more disconcerting. The familiar was now very unfamiliar, and unlike other types of ‘war’ the hunkering together had to be done apart. I restricted the shots to people framed within their front doors, squeezed within their hallways, or stood in front gardens, on the threshold between inside and outside, the safe and the unsafe. I was looking for a series of expressions: serious, pensive, reflective, quizzical, defiant (pleased to see me). I sought to capture the psychological effect of the pandemic by highlighting how the normal has become the weird.

Despite the rigorous typology of this series the portraits highlight the differences: the variety of architectural details and the differing combinations of families & friends, some squeezed together, some temporarily separated, some reunited: there are university students whose terms have been abruptly cut short, children suddenly being home schooled, families united by circumstances, children divided between separated homes, friends paired up for convenience, families struggling with financial difficulties and job losses, individuals confined to their homes and reliant on home delivery, retired people for whom the pace of life has not not changed much but the safety of outdoors has radically shifted, those still working (for food banks, community allotments, pharmacies, NHS, social services) and those who appear to be enjoying the circumstances, who feel less pressure not more.

As I photographed friends & neighbours I noticed that the skies had cleared, no contrails to be seen, the air smelt fresher and at the local golf course, now empty of golfers, deer roamed the greens. Walking the streets, on my daily excursion, I noted the sound of birdsong, uncertain if this was because there was more birds, less background or my hyper-vigilance was making me more alert.

These images were taken between the period of the first Prime Minister’s ‘stay at home’ speech on 16th March 2020 and his second ‘stay at home go to work’ speech on 10th May 2020. During this period the social restrictions were tightened, the death toll increased, the nation clapped for its NHS staff whilst PPEs were in short supply, testing for the virus was scant, there was no clear end in sight and the Prime Minister went into intensive care.