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Pandemic Series (2021)

“Everything circles a bewildering paradox: other people are both a threat and a lifeline.

Physical connection could kill us, but civic connection is the only way to survive.”
- Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, May 18, 2020

Uncertainty and anxiety have been prevalent in people's lives for close to two years now. As the fourth (and hopefully final) wave of COVID infections batters society, the end finally feels like it is within reach. This is a great relief. Thinking back on the last two years however, one of the things that strikes me as central to the experience was the sense of isolation and alienation that enveloped people’s lives. All but essential travel dried up, people were confined to their homes to work, learn, and simply exist day-to-day in a kind of in-between place where time became muddled. We were away from friends, family and coworkers for months on end.

This body of work was developed during the latter portion of the global COVID-19 pandemic. It reflects, in visual terms, imagined scenes from unsettled times. A solitary cabin, a vacant camper, a construction and a provision drop. These are the first four works in what I hope to be an ongoing series that aims to digest this unique period through staged photography in the Newfoundland landscape. My approach to tackling existential questions has been to meet wonder with wonder. Unusual colour palettes and surreal scenes devoid of figures set the stage to consider absence, aid and imagined rebuilds. This new work extends previous interests in the degree to which we need one another and the importance of greater genuine (less superficial) connections in our lives.

Will Gill
October 2021

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