Rainbow colours with hands at each. Words 'Support Our NHS, Fair Wages for Key Workers' written on the blue band of the rainbow. The graphic is attached to a metal fence.
© Katharine Grice
© Katharine Grice

Public asked to help record a week in lockdown

We are calling on you to share images that document your experience of seven days in "Lockdown". Ten contemporary artists from across the nation have also been chosen to produce special images over the week.

From rainbows in windows and star jumps on balconies, to explorations of your local area, Historic England is asking you to share images that show how we are all facing the challenges of lockdown, self-isolation and social distancing.

We want people to show us their experiences of lockdown, how places local to them have transformed, communities have come together, and life has changed for us all.
Claudia Kenyatta, Director of Regions Historic England

Running from Wednesday 29 April to Tuesday 5 May, the aim of the #PicturingLockdown project is to create a unique and reflective record of a week across the nation during this extraordinary moment in history.

We want to spark a conversation about identity and its connection to history and place, and help people navigate their way through with reflection, expression and creativity.

Claudia Kenyatta, Director of Regions at Historic England said:
"We are facing one of the most extraordinary moments in living memory. During this time of necessary lockdown restrictions, we are asking the public and some of our most talented contemporary artists to help us record history, whilst being careful to abide by the government’s social distancing measures. We want people to show us their experiences of lockdown, how places local to them have transformed, communities have come together, and life has changed for us all. These challenging times are encouraging us all to pause and reflect upon our relationship with our surroundings. We hope this project inspires creativity and reflection, allowing the public create a unique time capsule for the future."

100 of the images submitted by the public and artists will be chosen to enter the Historic England Archive to provide a record for the future. Of the submissions from the public, the 50 most evocative, informative and inspiring images will combine with 50 works from ten contemporary artists into a Collection. These will be catalogued by the Historic England Archive and will be made freely accessible online.

This is the first time the public have been asked to capture a moment in time and save it in the Historic England Archive of over 12 million photographs since the Second World War.

The ten contemporary artists Historic England has also asked to take part in the project are based across the country:

  • The award-winning Scottee, is an artist, writer and broadcaster from North London who proudly boasts no formal education. Self-taught, he now lives and makes work in Southend on Sea, Essex. Across theatre, live art, public commissions, community activism and fine art Scottee’s work is often about forcing difficult conversations for the greater good. His work is often centred around class, queerness, fatness and survival
  • Malaika Kegode is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Bristol. Malaika’s work tells of how we can find beauty and hope through the darkness. Her overall themes of family, mental health, addiction and love always have an undercurrent of optimism and strength. She has performed around the UK at a number of celebrated venues, festivals and poetry events. Her work is currently displayed on the exterior of the Arnolfini, one of Europe's leading centres for the contemporary arts. In 2018, Malaika was included in the The BME Power List, celebrating Bristol’s 100 most influential black & minority ethnic people
  • Anand Chhabra is a documentary photographer based in the West Midlands with over 20 years' experience working in the arts.  He is co-founder, director and the incumbent Chair of Black Country Visual Arts. His work focusses on engaging communities with little or no involvement in the arts with co-creative work and passing on new skills
  • Coralie Datta is a social documentary photographe based in Yorkshire. She is interested in the way communities function and her photographic work reflects this. She creates series of photographs representing the way communities connect with the environments in which they live, interact with and work. The act of taking photographs enables her to engage with and understand these groups of people and the social pressures that influence their lives
  • Based in London, Polly Braden features an ongoing conversation between the people she photographs and the environment in which they find themselves. Highlighting the small, often unconscious gestures of her subjects, Polly particularly enjoys long-term, in depth collaborations that in turn lends her photographs a unique, quiet intimacy
  • Another Londoner, Roy Mehta is a well-established London-based photographic artist with thirty years of professional experience working on personal and commercial projects. His work encapsulates the complexity of identity and belonging and is regularly exhibited in the UK and abroad. Before Covid-19, a retrospective exhibition of his work was commissioned for Brent Borough of Culture 2020
  • Bella Milroy is an award winning photographer who lives in her hometown of Chesterfield, Derbyshire. She works responsively with found and archived material through mediums of sculpture, drawings, photography and text. She is also a portrait artist. Her work explores how we touch and make contact with the world around us, with the hand-held being of particular significance. Using her personal perspective as a framework for a wider reflection of contemporary living, she makes work about making work (and being disabled) and not being able to make work (and being disabled). She is interested in the duality of every-day existence, and how things can be both beautiful/painful, both interesting/dull
  • Based in the North East, Aidan Moesby is an artist curator working at the intersection of art, health and technology. His current work investigates the dual crises of Climate Change and Mental Health exploring the relationships between the outer physical weather and internal psycho-emotional weather. He has worked, exhibited and curated nationally and internationally
  • North West-based Tristan Poyser is a photographer and lecturer with a background in Ecology and Biological Photography. His practice based research explores the physicality of landscapes, the legacy left, both as physical and cultural scars, that shape our behaviours, national identity and politics. His projects aim to challenge the viewer's perceptions through the medium of photography and often participation
  • Chloe Dewe Mathews is a photographic artist based in St Leonards-on-Sea. After studying fine art at Camberwell College of Arts and the University of Oxford, she worked in the feature film industry before dedicating herself to photography. Her work is internationally recognised, exhibiting at Tate Modern, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Museum Folkwang and Fotomuseum Antwerp, as well as being published widely in newspapers and magazines such as the Guardian, New Yorker, Financial Times, Harpers and Le Monde.

Historic England is asking the public to keep to social distancing measures when taking part in this project and only go outside for food, health reasons or for work if you cannot work from home.