“As a neurodiverse artist, I have experience of living with a sense of isolation, of being detached from those around me. During the Covid- 19 pandemic, many more people are having to deal with that same feeling, so I wanted to look at how individuals view themselves now and how they have responded to living their lives in a very different way.
I focused the project on a particular group of individuals within Fenland as I felt that they would bring a different perspective to the piece, given the work that they were doing to support their respective local communities.
Participants were asked to create a self-portrait using any medium and then send an image of their work to me. Many of those who took part are not artists and had never taken part in a creative project before so this gave them a unique opportunity to try something new in a safe supportive environment.
As part of this project I made it into a book as a collection of their stories, told through their own images and words.
I would like to thank all of those individuals who took part in ‘People of Fenland’.”
“Take a deep breath and carry on.”
“I tried to capture the impact of being surrounded by walls.”
“Thursday night became about talking to my neighbours and making a better community.”
“Before Covid I was always looking at the clock.”
“I actually enjoyed lockdown as it made me slow down. Covid-19 has given me more time on the home side of the garden gate.”
“ We have more respect for each other as individuals now that people have started to open up and show themselves, rather than just be there as a company face.”
This publication was originally commissioned as part of the Creative Conversations in Isolation micro-commissions programme, which was a response to Covid-19, exploring how creative practitioners and communities could be supported through a very difficult time.
©2020 Tim Mann