Amanda Clarke

Winner of

Open Category

Written Statement

Each image captured the coronavirus pandemic which worried many people.

We live in the ‘Age of Anxiety’. For those who experience the turbulence of anxiety, loneliness, panic, or existential angst in the best of times, a global pandemic may further trigger the underlying sense of existing uncertainty. Humans are social animals. The isolation imposed by COVID-19 is debilitating. We want to have opportunities to be with other people, share meals, share a drink in the pub, and share activities. However, as depicted in the first image, cities were in lockdown. As a result opportunities and venues for sociabilities became scarce. We live in turbulent times and compacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of mental health is not only relevant but crucial.

This year, many people have faced serious challenges to their mental health. Along with the health impacts of the disease, COVID-19 has led to, self and social isolation, disconnection from family and friends, quarantine and lockdowns on movement resulting in more people than ever experiencing feelings of helplessness, isolation, grief, anxiety and depression. This resulted in many people raising their hand and signalling the universal sign for help. This is depicted in the second image where a person appears to be drowning whilst locked inside behind closed doors.

The last image depicts a turbulent end to 2020 for many holidaying families. Thousands scrambled for borders, after some governments announced restrictions, which gave residents only hours to return home to avoid self isolation prior to Christmas.

All images were captured using a handheld device on portrait mode.


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