The Ability to Capture Time
In a time when we are locked in our houses we have turned to our online life for a release from boredom; for the ability to once again socialise and to be able to work or study. Applications like Instagram, Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp have seen a massive spike in engagement and it’s no surprise as these applications facilitate not only one form of communication.
This has made us think about how much we rely on a visual connection, whether that is losing time looking at photography on IG explore or needing to FaceTime rather than rely on messenger apps. Lead Product Designer for Instagram Ian Spalter explains in his episode of the Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design that:
“A big part of how humanity experiences the world is visual. You carry around this device with you that allows you to capture what you’re seeing in a moment in time and then send it anywhere and everywhere on Earth. You have this magic piece of glass that creates these very transformational experiences. That can teleport you to a place and time. It’s a way of bringing things that are far away closer.”
We can’t think of a better way to describe the importance of photography especially today when we ourselves are locked behind our screens, of being able to make and share imagery in order to communicate with our loved ones and to comment on our own experiences and the experiences of others.
The current climate makes this ability to capture time and share it visually more valuable than it ever has been. With this in mind at the beginning of this lock-down we had asked students and staff to share their work and working from home moments. To literally see how as a school we are doing; but to also offer a type of community and support through sharing photographs and screen-shots during this mutual time of uncertainty and reflection.
We are not the only ones that see the value in this particular idea. Collectives, charities and public figures are doing more of the same in response to this pandemic. Inspired and supported by visual communications we have seen projects such as “Hold Still, a portrait of our nation in 2020” a public project created by Kate Middleton in Collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery.
Hold Still is a call out to the public, for photographs of their moments over the last weeks spent in lockdown with the aim to:
“create a unique photographic portrait which captures the spirit, mood, hopes, fears and feelings of the nation as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.”
Under three categories: Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness, you can share your process with the rest of the nation! You can read more about Hold still and enter your submissions by the 18th June 2020. One hundred short-listed images will feature in a digital gallery hosted by the National Portrait Gallery.
If you are interested in exploring your photography and visual communication further; take a look at the photography courses we have to offer. You can go to our instagram page @thenorthernart to take a look at some of our working from home images.