Documenting everyday life lived almost exclusively in domestic spaces, these works respond creatively to sudden and increased restrictions and limitations.
As home becomes the space where we work, socialise and learn during lockdown, it can also inspire new creative outputs. From using family as subjects of portraits, to recording the moments of connection using digital tools, these beautiful and often poignant images capture experiences that many of us will recognise.
HOME is an exhibition of work by ten students on the BA (Hons) Photography course at the University of West London, based in Ealing, and its partner institution Deutsche-Pop, based in Germany and Austria.
Daniela Torres (University of West London)
Isolation in Dark Times
These images show a person who is self-isolating in their bedroom, with no contact with anybody else. It relates to the current situation and to what many people are experiencing, spending time in bed watching films and only speaking with their family via Face Time. The work is partly inspired by Pete Kiehart, an artist who also documented his isolation.
Daniela Torres is 24 years old and she is studying BA Photography at UWL. She has a passion for documentary and sports photography. She is based in Ealing, London.
Nadine Berlin (Deutsche-Pop)
Domestic and Mundane
An interpretation of an everyday situation during the Corona Shutdown. Self-painted faces are stuck on the screens of the laptops, which are the only guests of the birthday party.
Nadine Berlin works as a freelance photographer. She lives with her husband and two children in Hamburg, Germany. With her mobile studio, she can offer a client-friendly service on-site, which consists mainly of portraits and family photographs.
With her latest project ‘Society’s Flotsam’ she has left her comfort zone and ventured into a completely new area. In May 2020 her work is expected to be exhibited both in Berlin and Hamburg.
James Murray (University of West London)
My Family During Quarantine
Originally, James planned to make a work on lesser-known monuments and buildings in London such as the Pudding Lane monument and the Walkie Talkie. He had to abandon this concept because of the COVID-19 outbreak; instead, he chose to make his mum, dad, and sister the subjects of his work, to make creative family photos. James was inspired by an article he read about creating unique photos with different perspectives in portraiture. There was one photo taken with an upward perspective that showed the sitter’s surroundings as well, which give a glimpse as to what type of individual they might be.
James used a small stool to achieve the perspective he wanted, and a fixed 35mm lens. The photos are black and white, chosen to take advantage of the light’s reflections and shadows. The close-up nature of the shots shows the intimacy he has with his family. James chose to show his family’s hobbies that are helping them to cope during the coronavirus lockdown.
James is a first-year BA Photography student at the University of West London. The types of photography James would like to specialise in are documentary, portraiture and candid photography. He has been practicing photography for four years and wants to make a brand for himself while continuously improving. James is also learning a bit about videography and currently creates headshots, portraits, and concert shots to gain experience, and looks forward to working with future clients.
Keren Sequeira (University of West London)
Bedroom Isolation Self Portrait with Brother
Keren made this work as part of her final Major Project for her photography degree. Lockdown forced her to rethink her project, and she came up with the idea of photographing the space she lives in, and reveal just how isolating it is. She shares the room with her teenage brother, and her family also received a letter from the NHS determining isolation for 12 weeks. Sharing this small space is a challenge indeed. Even to get this one shot was a struggle. This image is a rare chance to see into another person’s most intimate space. Because she can’t go out, Keren was inspired to push herself and create something at home in Hounslow.
Keren was born in India and moved to the UK at the age of two. She has a background in music and developed a love for the arts from a young age. In 2017 she made the decision to pursue her passion for Photography and study at university level. Documentary photography and the family album are her two primary interests, and a lot of her work explores themes of family and everyday life. She is inspired by William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and Richard Billingham.
Michelle Weger (Deutsche-Pop)
Corona is No Time to Party
This photographic series explores the night in the age of Covid-19. On a Friday night during lockdown, Michelle strolled around the empty streets of her Bavarian neighbourhood, capturing them in their new state of being. Working with an iPhone camera, she adapted modern technology for flexibility during her walk.
Since the pandemic started, life has changed drastically in Bavaria. The streets are empty most of the time, turning the neighbourhood into a ghost town at night.
This series illustrates the quiet, mundane existence the night has become in the time of the pandemic.
Nadine Berenice Bierbaum (Deutsche-Pop)
Nadine is a student from Hamburg and studies photography with a focus on documenting the behaviour of humans in their environment. This includes social aspects as well as the attempt to explore and depict the nature of things with the image. She is due to show her work in Berlin in 2020.
Katie Welshman (University of West London)
Katie’s project is about loneliness. Initially she was going to explore loneliness in the city, but due to Covid-19 this changed instead to represent the loneliness many of us feel at this time. The work is influenced by the photographer Philip-Lorca DiCorcia because of the beautiful lighting in his work and his ability to capture portraits so effortlessly.
Katie is a 22-year-old student currently finishing her BA Photography degree at the University of West London. She comes from a fine art background, with an interest in fine art photography, documentary photography and street photography. Her aim is to work further in photojournalism, and document people’s lives and tell their stories. In the future she hopes to change people’s mindsets through her work, and introduce them to circumstances they may not be aware of otherwise.
Martyna Taraszkiewicz (University of West London)
This project takes old family album images and remakes them into new photomontages. Martyna is fascinated by memories, and how they act over a long period of time. Her artwork conveys a sense of lost and fractured memory.
Since we are all bound to our houses, Martyna has found that creating photomontages quite peaceful. Being a photographer and having to stay home can sometimes feel claustrophobic. She feels lucky to have found this technique that she can use to create art from home.
Martyna is passionate about the found images that you can buy off of eBay or flea markets, in particular, the unknown history behind each image. She is originally from Poland, and has lived and studied in London for the past three years. Here she discovered the art of photomontage and created a few projects dedicated to old family albums.
Puja Bhatia (University of West London)
This series was made by the artist from her apartment in Dubai. Using video calling, she was able to communicate and collaborate with friends in different cities across the world, planning outfits, poses, and lighting together. The collaborations were often playful, with friends dressing up and repurposing different parts of their homes as a backdrop. The settings were chosen as a place where the sitter could be calm in the face of a global pandemic. The series plays with the challenge of art directing a photoshoot, usually a hands-on process, at a distance. The series shows how a degree of closeness and friendship can be maintained using technology.
Puja grew up outside Mumbai, India. She later moved to Saudi Arabia and lived there for almost 10 years before settling in Dubai. Photography was a family legacy, from her grandfather, to her mother and her sisters. They created a spectacular family album. Puja enjoys taking fashion, advertising, portraiture and documentary based photography. She loves creating series-based projects and collaborating with other artists.
Marta Woźniak (University of West London)
“I underestimated how wonderful the green fields that surround us are until I couldn’t leave my London apartment and I was forced to return to Poland, my home country.”
For this project, Marta decided to photograph her parents at home in Poland. Having a simple life is difficult. Sometimes it’s also beneficial. The enormity of work that you have to do every day allows you to cut yourself off from the rest of the world. It is also a great escape from reality. During the time of the pandemic that has swept the whole world, life on her parents’ farm has not changed at all. They still get up early in the morning, cultivate fields, harvest and take care of animals. Life on the farm is very hermetic, which also allowed them to have a normal life when the rest of the world fell into chaos.
Marta is 22 years old, with big dreams from a small town in Poland. For as long as she can remember she loved painting people. However, from the moment she held a camera, she realised that it was always supposed to be a big part of her life. She loves people, emotions and a connection that can be made by photographing others. She always tries to show something special, not only for herself, or for the viewer, but also for the person who is in the picture. She aims to capture moments that she can fall in love with again and again.
You can see more work from the University of West London BA (Hons) Photography students on their degree show website: https://uwlexposure.wixsite.com/2020