Lockdown Stories 2020 - under the first lockdown in the spring of 2020 I created a series of 150 portraits, that depicted a selection of essential workers and residents mainly confined indoors in and around Folkestone, Kent.

These audio recordings are an ongoing documentation of the residents and workers I photographed. In 2022 I asked them to reflect back on the 2020 lockdown and tell me their story.

Thank you to Develop Your Creative Practice (DYCP) and The Arts Council England for supporting this project.

Thank you to Develop Your Creative Practice (DYCP) and The Arts Council England for supporting this stage of the project.

The Arts Council: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/
DYCP: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/dycp

You can also listen to the Lockdown Stories 2020 on these podcast platforms:

Kate. "So much money was wasted. And a lot of it was about posturing and saying the right things. Saying that they were delivering boxes and boxes, thousands of boxes. Container loads of PPE. And it was rubbish. It wasn't the right stuff. It was all about, Aren't we great? Aren't we wonderful? Aren't we saviours? Here we are, saving the nation.

Like I say, I don't know how another mob would have performed, but probably the same things would have had to be addressed. I can't wait for them to get it right kicking. And I really hope they do. I'm just starting to lose faith in the voters in this country."

“There was a lot of misinformation all around, and that's always the best. It's almost like a test tube to create all sorts of weird and wacky ideas against vaccination for vaccination and people taking extreme sides, when most of the time, unfortunately, the answer is in some kind of moderate, more moderate solution.”

“Come the end of this whole experience I’ve had a few people I know who have died because of it because they were vulnerable. They were put in positions where one friend was really poorly, ended up in hospital, even then he tested negative with Covid when he went in within two days he had been put on a Covid ward, got Covid and died.”

Lord Roger Card.
“I still think that government got a bit too generous with the money side of it to people. Encouraging them to stop home, which meant that they weren’t actually going in to do work. I still think it would have been better if they had done less of that than they did because they spent billions of pounds on subsiding people and now they expect it all the time, including the fact that they work from all the time and it’s not really practical in a lot of cases.”

Cath. “We had weekly meetings with the government to adapt our delivery of our service to each individuals needs. So there was some thought going into that and also at the same time keeping yourself sane.” 

Julie.           “Lockdown was quite strange I am quite a sociable person and I had quite an active social life and obviously not being able to go out, meant that was curtailed somewhat and I have found even though it was a couple of years that I haven’t really got back into social life at all.”

Alice. “The man things I think about when I look back over Lockdown is just how much more anxiety, I’ve now got over the tiniest thing. If there are too many people. if there is someone particularly sick nearby. If I’ve got a cold I still go into work and wear a mask even if I know it’s just a cold.”

Amelia & Mitchell
 “I just remember the most surreal thing would be walking home from work and there would be no one on the streets whatsoever. And you were sort of walking around this wasteland like it was a new film that had just come out or something, it was very bizarre.  We were so lucky to be still out there in the world when everyone was locked away.”

Amanda & Terrance.
 “During lockdown it was pretty much me and my son, as my partner worked days and days on end. We   live in a communal flat block on the very top floor. The front door is almost locking us away from   the world, when we went out we felt almost free. Free from being locked' in and free from lots of   schoolwork! I’ve felt more anxious than I ever have before. My stress levels rocketed. Home schooling was difficult, but our bond became really strong as we were in this together.”

Jan & John.   
 “During the first lockdown my husband had a minor heart attack. He was whisked off to hospital; I    was left here of course not knowing what would happen, and he was in there for two weeks. I couldn’t go and visit him, and I found it incredibly hard. I honestly thought I would never see him again.”

Theresa.            “I am an unpaid carer who actually needs a carer myself. Covid has exacerbated every single thing in my life on a daily basis.”   

 “The day of the lockdown everything changed for everybody. The way we shopped, the way we see each other and the way we do things.”

Rosanne, Shelley & Elliot.
 “I have lost a sense of safety that things are generally ok. I think that some of the insecurity is new especially with Brexit and everything that has been happening this year.”

John & Kaz.
“Isolation, loneliness, and separation from people. Being told that you can’t do anything you normally do in your normal life had a massive impact on my mental health.”

Linda & Chris. “My employer said you don’t need to work full time if you have caring responsibilities, but our workload had gone up. So I didn’t have to be present at work, but I had all this work to do as well as home schooling.”