Combined artwork from A Level students

Photography students’ creative response to Covid-19

Sixthformers have used the global pandemic as inspiration for a series of thought-provoking artwork.

The second year A Level photography students from Barrow Sixth Form College have produced a powerful set of images for exhibition at the Rating Lane campus.

They were set a task to look at their own experience of the virus and create a set of images to portray how they felt about lockdown, their emotional response, frustrations and enjoyment.

Work ranged from self-portraits showing the mental toll of the virus on teenagers, the disruption to routine and impact of time spent alone.

Subject Leader of Art and Design Nikki Conigliaro said the students had started with a talk on photographers that use disguise, camouflage and masks. They then transferred that theme in the context of Covid-19.

Rona Bisset’s series of photos entitled ‘how to fail in a global pandemic’ showed her annoyance at people wearing their masks wrong with the aim of encourage people to change their habits.

“My idea was to show my frustration in a comedic form of photos looking at how not to wear a mask. Some are rather extreme, which creates that comedic side and some are simple, which you see a lot.”

Charlotte Dixon’s work portrays the mix of emotions people were feeling during the first lockdown. “Some felt trapped and like they were made to comply with the Government’s rules whereas others felt it brought them closer to nature and the people around them, finally allowing them to see the finer details,” she said.

Luke Smith took clippings from the newspapers and overlaid images to depict messages from the Government and media.

Nikki said she had been impressed by the variety of responses and their willingness to channel deeper feelings into their artwork. “It was a great way for the students to release some creative frustration when they came back to college in September and re-engage in practical work in our classroom setting. They were all happy to be back in a creative environment for the first time since March.”

Applications for 2021 are now open at sixth form and the Channelside campus with a wide range of courses available, including A level photography. For details see the website www.furness.ac.uk

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