Exhibition of lockdown photography project opens at The Place Theatre

Life through Windows. Image: Chiara Mac Call
Life through Windows. Image: Chiara Mac Call

An exhibition of work by a photographer taken during her daily permitted hourly exercise will open at the Place Theatre on Bradgate Road next week (15 February).

Between 24 March and 13 May 2020, Bedford-based photographer, Chiara Mac Call visited families via their windows and doorways, taking portraits from the pavement to capture that unique moment in time, when the world was in lockdown.

For the first time, the images will be exhibited together in an exhibition entitled Life Through Windows and to launch the event, Chiara will be in conversation with arts producer, Jo Hudson-Lett, to talk about the project.

You can book tickets here.

At the time of the first UK lockdown, Chiara’s mother was in Italy, and particularly vulnerable to the virus due to lung cancer. Social distancing was very important, but also very isolating for her.

“I was unable to travel to Italy without posing additional risks,” said Chiara. “So I started walking past the homes of friends as a way of trying to help myself and others feel less isolated.

“Photos were always taken at a safe distance, often with a telephoto lens from the other side of the road and after sharing some images online, I was contacted by various press media outlets and was eventually featured on the BBC, local ITV news and the Bedford Independent.”

Read: Photography project captures Bedford during the coronavirus lockdown

“What started as a very personal way of managing anxiety and reaching out to friends, became something more vast – not only connecting with strangers to take photos of them at their windows or in their doorways but also documenting some of the community and council efforts to support front line services and vulnerable people during the pandemic.”

Live music at the event will be provided by local Americana singer-songwriter, Kris Wilkinson-Hughes performing as My Girl the River.

Chiara, Jo and Kris were all affected by loss and grief during the pandemic and will weave images and sound together to tell the story behind the photo project and the events that brought them together.

The photos offer a window back in time, allowing the trio to reflect on the unlikely places friendship can take root and creativity blossom.

The exhibition, Life Through Windows, is at the Place Theatre, Bradgate Road, Bedford MK40 3DE from 15 February until 31 March and is free to view during thetare opening times.

The launch event takes place on Friday 16 February and tickets are pay what you can (suggested donation £4 – £16). You can buy tickets here.

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