A Preston-based photographer is looking for subjects for a portrait project that will document the impact coronavirus has had on local lives.Advertisement
Garry Cook is planning to photograph Prestonians around the city for his Proud Preston People project. Participants will also be asked for their thoughts on life under lockdown, and these words will be published alongside the images when the project is complete.
The project – which has been funded by Preston Cultural Framework Board backed by the Brewtime Collective, Curious Minds, Preston City Council and UCLan – will be carried out following social distancing rules. Garry will travel by bike to an outdoor location or the person’s home to photograph them.
He said: “I’ve wanted to do a set of portraits of people in Preston for a long time. After looking at what is possible and safe under these lockdown conditions, I’ve decided to go for it.
“I think this project will be really important as it will capture people and their thoughts at a truly unique time in their history.
“I will ask the people I photograph how they are feeling, but their statements can be about anything – a message, a promise or what they think about coronavirus.”
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Garry will send a free digital copy to all participants photographed, and he hopes to exhibit the images across the city’s local independent venues once the lockdown is lifted.
“Exhibiting the images will be a really important part of the project, whether they are displayed in pubs, hairdressers, cafes or shop windows. Independent businesses have suffered hugely during the lockdown and those that survive will still find it very tough afterwards.
“I think a lot of people will be scared of returning to public places a long time after the lockdown is lifted, so I want to give people an extra reason to return to our local bars, shops and cafes so that these businesses are supported.”
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Garry is aiming to produce images that reflect Preston’s diverse population and communities.
He said: “As well as wanting people representing every faith group and nationality in the city, I would love to include someone reading this now and thinking, ‘I’ve never done anything like this before’. You are exactly the person I want to include in the project. I’ll jump on my bike, cycle to your house and photograph you.”
If you would like to take part, email Garry Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 07976 579522.
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Are you thinking of taking part in the project? Let us know in the comments.