Atoms and Molecules

Atoms and Molecules is a collection of photographs created during the third UK lockdown.

Over the last year, we all experienced a change in our daily lives, a new norm imposed by rules to keep us safe in this unprecedented time. A stark reminder that we are simply a configuration of atoms and molecules, vulnerable to viral attack. We were learning to keep our distance from a previous time of physical contact and social interaction. The regulations defined who we could and could not see. And those in your immediate circle became known as your bubble.

My response was to become lost in a creative bubble. Meditative and thoughtful, reminiscing about pre-pandemic times. Being disconnected from my customary practice of photographing the sea drove me to experiment with water closer to home – to simulate situations that evoked similar interactions. Essentially, seeking a mechanism for continuing to explore my fascination with the froth, foam and bubbles of breaking waves on the beach or invoking memories of a time at sea, a world far removed from today and the current pandemic.

I found myself compelled to work with subject matter that reflected these circling thoughts, what had become unavailable to me (the sea), and what I was avoiding (the virus).  The two became intrinsically linked: the action of breaking waves injecting air from the atmosphere into the water column leading to the creation of bubbles – replaced here with water from within the garden or indeed the kitchen sink – and transmission risk through invisible airborne particles visualised as roughly spherical with surface projections. Reflective of the daily dose of danger beamed into my room. By creating these works, I found some sense of empowerment; from these constraints, fears and challenges, I could create works of intrigue and beauty.  Knowing like atoms, one day, we will come together to form molecules as our bubbles expand, and daily life returns to a new norm.

Until that day, stay safe

51°21.7′ N, 1°01.5’E