In Plymouth, we have the most amazing colourful garage doors in the alley outside the back garden. When we have been going on our daily walks since returning from lockdown in Scotland, I kept thinking of how to use them in a project. When I studied at Plymouth College of Art
, we learned of Getty’s 2017 trend ‘Colour Surge
‘ where the first thing you notice about the photograph was colour, I have always wanted to explore this concept further so knew that these doors would be perfect for something. Rainbows have also been a key symbol of lockdown too so I thought why just do one colour when I could do the whole spectrum.
Compared to my previous project of ‘Lockdown in Scotland
‘, these images provided a great contrast with their urban feel and being from a performing arts background it created a great incentive for getting dressed up with my girls and creating characters that were full of narrative. We did these images over a few days and I tasked my daughter April to find everything she could of each colour; it was surprisingly easy to find as we have very colourful wardrobes. Lockdown has been incredibly monotonous at times, so finding games in everything we do has been important to keeping my daughter April happy. It was a lot of fun to do, the neighbours had a laugh at our matching outfits and both my daughters got into their character’s well (classic photographer’s children!). Once I shared this project on my social media, the reaction I have received has been both overwhelming and motivating. Being a mother of two girls at such different ages during Lockdown has been testing, and I have this creative drive that I don’t always find the time or energy to pursue. Knowing the public support my work has kick-started something in me to just put my work out there as much as possible no matter how unfinished it feels, I am a terrible perfectionist that I don’t always share things in case I look back on it once I have improved my skills. This is something I now understand won’t help me grow.
I will be creating a coffee table style book through my websit soon as there has been a high demand for one.
Lockdown in Scotland
Just before Lockdown started, my girls and I travelled from Plymouth to Scotland where my partner lives. Long story short, we got stuck there for 3 months. So with my girls and just my camera to hand, I basically did the only thing to keep me sane throughout this time. I documented it.
I am Zephy, mother of two beautiful girls and I have been doing a personal 365 project to keep me inspired and motivated this year whilst on maternity leave, as soon as my daughter Hazel was born in October 2019 I was afraid I wouldn’t capture enough which is one of the reasons I keep my camera so close. I was once told that if you force yourself to take photographs every day then you grow as an artist and you become so much more creative than you ever thought you could be, and gosh how I have grown.
The Lockdown project was mainly inspired by my girls, but also many documentary photographers that I have come across whilst studying my degree at Plymouth College of Art. Sally Mann
, Lindsay Saunders
and Megan Loeks
are just a few who inspire me daily all who have documented their children in the most beautiful, authentic ways and I simply just wanted to develop my own style. Compared to Plymouth’s urban surroundings, being stuck in rural Scotland was literally a dream. The light was beautiful, fields surrounded us and when I started getting more creative with the lighting and composition, it became clear I wanted to turn them all into black and white in the hopes of creating a book. There is something so beautiful about capturing real moments, and what’s even more lovely is creating an editorial series with lots of narrative. In the past I have always tried to produce strong solo images, but whilst studying I really enjoyed the theoretical side of creating editorial work and I feel reading now influences a lot of my personal projects. My daughters are 9 years apart, whilst my eldest April talks of being a tween soon (an age that fascinates me and has influenced previous projects) and with my daughter Hazel just 9 months old, despite their age difference their relationship is probably the most beautiful thing I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing.
My work is usually so full of colour, but for me this project just felt right in black and white and sort of timeless. Lockdown has been intense for so many of us creatives, for me I am used to being so busy with my girls and my work that taking the time to pause and just ‘be’ it was bound to bring out some beautifully authentic moments that I simply adored capturing.
I have created a personal book for my partner and his family but a public version of this book will be available through my website very soon. Here are a few of my favourites: