Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Richard Jones, Lockdown Day 53 © Julia Fullerton-Batten
Covid-19 came along and life changed for us all. For Julia Fullerton-Batten, she felt numb but “couldn’t stand around helpless”. So she decided to document the new daily existence of millions, putting a call-out on social media to see if anyone wanted to be photographed at home in self-isolation during twilight.
The response was enormous and the series, Looking Out From Within, was born. Her idea was to photograph different people imprisoned in their homes as they looked out of their windows onto the surreal and silent world outside. She chose to photograph them during twilight to further enhance the poignancy of their situation and isolation.
“For the first time in a long time, the whole world suddenly slowed down,” Fullerton-Batten says. “Many were forced to take a break from work and people had much more time to reflect. The pandemic has resulted in significant global social and economic disruption, including the largest recession since the great depression. It’s had a profound impact on all our lives, forcing us to stay indoors and reducing our contact with friends and family.”
Otto, Lockdown Day 82 © Julia Fullerton-Batten
Kitty, Lockdown Day 92 © Julia Fullerton-Batten
Shem and Nora, Lockdown Day 111 © Julia Fullerton-Batten
“But probably the most important aspect of this project, for me, is that it provides a magnifying glass for us to reflect upon what the pandemic and lockdown meant to us individually,” she continues. “The loved ones we lost, the extended isolation from our families and the huge sacrifices that many have made.”
An acclaimed fine art photographer from Germany, Fullerton-Batten wanted to “record this surreal time in our lives, to capture it for posterity” and “hold onto the memories of what we have been through so we can reflect back at some point in our lives on what happened all around the world,” as she puts it. Some of her subjects are her neighbours, others complete strangers, some celebrities. Those she chose to work with were invited to dress up and use props to share their narratives. The resulting images, therefore, provide a magnifying glass to reflect upon what the pandemic and lockdown meant to us all.
Jamal, Lockdown Day 22 © Julia Fullerton-Batten
Father Kevin, Lockdown Day 70 © Julia Fullerton-Batten
Jess, Lockdown Day 261 © Julia Fullerton-Batten
Josh and David, Lockdown Day 331 © Julia Fullerton-Batten
Now Julia has launched a Kickstarter to raise funds to bring the series together for a new book. With graphic design by Sarah Boris, the hardback will comprise 128 pages and feature a die-cut cloth-bounded cover with a foil backing. It’ll include a foreword by Marion Tande, manager of the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, who writes: “In the best storytelling tradition, Fullerton-Batten has produced a remarkable body of work that illustrates a period of time for current and future generations to reflect upon.”
Looking Out From Within by Julia Fullerton-Batten plans to go on sale this November with shipping in time for Christmas. To support the project, visit kickstarter.com.
Looking Out From Within © Julia Fullerton-Batten