MODULE 4: INFORMING CONTEXTS. WEEK 9.

TEST DIPTYCH (from NEW PARADIGM sequence).
Copyright James Bellorini 2020.

This short post reflects on the impact the Covid-19 virus is having on my photography and my M.A. practice. Such rapid changes that, alongside almost the entire global population, are affecting so much in unexpected ways.

To begin with, in terms of my commercial work, it’s worth noting that my business has ground to an abrupt halt. Many of my clients are large public-facing brands such as the Royal Opera House and The National Theatre and they were some of the first public venues to close last week. This time of year is usually when my work schedule really ramps up as we move towards the Spring and Summer. Not now.

Suffice to say that, at this stage of the whole crisis, I am unclear about what this all means for the future of my business as a photographer. Only time will tell on that one.

But this does mean that, due to anxiety around trying to work out the practicalities of life in the immediate future (including paying rent etc), I’m finding it quite hard to focus for any length of time. So, in terms of my M.A. studies, I’m really having to push myself to read, to think, to write (even this short CRJ entry), and to get fully engaged with the weekly assignments and forums. I don’t have the brain space because I’m so preoccupied with concerns about my future.

ISOLATION RESPONSE.
Copyright James Bellorini 2020.

I am also having to change the photographic input for my M.A. work-in-progress portfolio for the rest of this module. I had a number of portrait photoshoots booked in the coming weeks with collaborators in different parts of the UK, including a Somalian family who had invited me to their shabana (a pre-Ramadan celebration), and three new portrait sessions with third-culture kids that have agreed to contribute to the project. None of these will happen before the end of the module unless the situation turns around dramatically, which is not looking likely.

So, at the moment, I am turning again to myself as a subject for lack of any other human being to photograph (my wife, who sometimes participates in making work, is currently ‘stuck’ in Cyprus). This is something which I had already started to do, however where it will sit in the wider context of my project is unclear to me at present. That’s ok for now. The exploration will lead somewhere inevitably, though it is frustrating. In any case, I’ve got quite a bit of work behind me already so I’m not worried about the quantity, it’s the quality and the pertinence of the work.

Trust the process, as they say.

Good luck to you if you’re reading this. Stay safe and healthy.