5.2.2: Aldeburgh Lockdown Escape 2020, Suffolk

Assignment 5.2.2 Aldeburgh Great Escape 2020 is a body of work based on a two week holiday during the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2020. At the time when the very first vaccinations were being started, people were relaxing their behaviour in anticipation of a removal of restrictions over Christmas. And before the horrendous second wave in January and February 20201.

It builds on and complements the much more colourful and upbeat ‘Aldeburgh Escapes’ of carnival and morning light in Assignment 2.2 Amend: Aldeburgh Great Escapes.

I had originally intended to do a street documentary of Lockdown. But in the event there was too much traffic pollution and too little social distancing for me to be comfortable going out except for one daily blow along the edge of the sea, and that only on days when it was not raining. At the same time the austere grey cottage interior had very interesting reflections and angles, and the reflected light through condensation on cold morning windows and the see-through cotton blinds were ‘sublime’. I worked on two completely new interlinked projects:

1: Lockdown Landscapes: Photo Essays in colour and monochrome

2: ‘Reflections in Grey’ is a black and white photographic ‘a journey’ round our holiday escape two-room cottage under lockdown in December 2020. a series of rather rambling but hopefully interesting reflections on ‘politics of the sublime’ and the ‘new normal’ post-COVID-19. I also have audio recorded on location, and plan a Moving Image version of this work.

Page Contents

1: Lockdown Landscapes: Photo Essay

2: Reflections in Grey

  • Diary sketchbook
  • Photobook draft
  • Moving Image

Taking things forward: Future Escape Plans

1: Lockdown Landscapes

Lockdown Black and White

20 images selected for the dramatic sea, stark light/shadow/shape contrast and feeling of loneliness and desertion.

Lockdown in colour

20 images chosen for the more human, exhilerating and ‘beautiful’ sunlit moments.

2: Reflections in Grey

Assignment 5.2 ‘Reflections in Grey’ aims to ultimately be a series of rather rambling but hopefully interesting reflections on ‘politics of the sublime’ and the ‘new normal’ post-COVID-19. This is a completely new body of work – black and white photography of ‘a journey’ round our holiday escape two-room cottage under lockdown in December 2020. I had originally intended to do a street documentary of Lockdown. But in the event there was too much traffic pollution and too little social distancing for me to be comfortable going out except for one daily blow along the edge of the sea, and that only on days when it was not raining. At the same time the austere grey cottage interior had very interesting reflections and angles, and the reflected light through condensation on cold morning windows and the see-through cotton blinds were ‘sublime’.

Reflections in Grey builds on Assignment 3, Teetotal Street. But it takes photographic abstraction and experimentation with tone and focus much further, using texts that I read during the two week period.

This is still very much a work in progress.

My plan is to go back through all my diary notes and bring everything together as a diary collage/drawing sketchbook as the basis for a ‘maximum version’, then do a minimum version where I really refine what I am trying to say.

The final version, discussed with an audience, as ‘just right’ – or one potential version of that.

I also have audio recorded at the time that I plan to work into a moving image piece in Premiere and/or After Effects.

!! Insert collaged sketchbook of photographs and quotations. Currently a sketchbook with my pencil jottings from the time. These need to be worked on for legibility, and in relation to photographs, news clippings etc.

ReflectionsinGrey_2_WP

5.2 Taking Things Forward:
Aldeburgh Escapes 2021 onwards

The work for this module is all part of an anticipated long term connection with Aldeburgh. I intend to send my work on the Carnival to the Carnival committee and see if they give any feedback on what is now something of a historic/nostalgic set of pictures. Once it is again COVID-safe to visit – possibly not until 2021 because of the crowds once things open up again – I plan to discuss my work with some of the bookshops.

I already have a lot of photographs and sketches of Aldeburgh from pervious OCA courses that I started to review, cull and bring together as a multi-media A3 sketchbook with collage and annotations. Including work in different styles from other local artists. This will be further worked on for assessment, pointing to a range of potential future projects and media approaches.

I would also like to do a more documentary work on Aldeburgh:

  • diversity in tourism – Aldeburgh is a disability-friendly place and the numbers of older people and people with disabilities is noticeable. There are also an increasing number of people from ethnic minorities. But I would need some time to do this sensitively as I feel uncomfortable/unethical being too intrusive as a photographer.
  • environmental issues – pollution, effects of climate change and rising sea levels on erosion of the town and the thorny issue of nuclear energy and development of Sizewell C. Although this may well bring jobs for some, it will alter the local environment and tourist industry beyond all recognition.
  • ‘imaginings’ and folk and political narratives suggested by textures around the town developed as a short book of ‘Moot Tales’ and/or as short animations.

The pictures suggested by textures in rusty tractors, flints on the Moot Hall and old wooden boards are fascinating. Suggesting folk tales of the area that I started to enhance through adjustments in Procreate on my iPad. But needing proper narrative.