Volume: Picturing Lockdown Collection: Artists' Submissions - Roy Mehta

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The Picturing Lockdown Collection was created during April and May 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This group of five images, representing the London Suburbs region, was created by the artist Roy Mehta over the course of five days, to represent his experience of the lockdown. Alongside his submissions, the artist wrote the following to describe his creative approach to the project:

"“….he was learning to love idleness, idleness no longer as stretches of freedom reclaimed by stealth here and there from involuntary labour, surreptitious thefts to be enjoyed sitting on his heels before a flowerbed with the fork dangling from his fingers, but as a yielding up of himself to time.” ― J.M. Coetzee, 'Life and Times of Michael K'

For most of us the first few days of the Lockdown was an experience of blurred reality. Perhaps we are transitioning, living through a moment of transformative change, to arrive at a different way of living.

In response my work explores the moments of transition in our locked down days: by making work in the early morning and late afternoon light, I use the opening and closing of the day as a metaphor for beginnings, endings and change.

I live in and am drawn to the ‘natural’ landscape. I love the slowness of the garden, of growing my own food. Like so many of us I have noticed a real change in the quality of the air, a lack of traffic noise, a greater awareness of birdsong and the sensation of time itself being slower.

The purpose of my reading over the past few weeks has been an attempt to counterbalance the often contradictory and sombre news updates with pieces of prose and poetry.

By juxtaposing my reading with my work, I hope to draw the viewer’s inner eye to the sensation of inner peace and of time slowed. By framing my work within these moments of change in the natural world I find a sense of time, of simply living in its flow. "


This is part of the Sub Series: HEC01/036/02 Picturing Lockdown Collection - Artists' Submissions; within the Series: HEC01/036 Picturing Lockdown Collection; within the Collection: HEC01 Historic England

This Volume is divided into 5 Child Records
This Volume contains the following materials:
Photograph (Digital): 5


© Roy Mehta

People & Organisations

Photographer: Mehta, Roy