www.juliafullerton-batten.com / @julia_fullertonbatten
Penelope, Lockdown day 51 – “In the beginning of April 2020 a growing panic soon became a pandemic that overwhelmed the world and changed all of our lives for ever. As infection and mortality numbers increased a new word came into our daily vocabulary – lockdown. We were not asked but told to stay indoors. Imprisoned within our own four walls we could only leave the house for one hour each day. The world was and still remains in turmoil, it was extremely surreal and scary, both at the same time.
As a photographer I felt motivated to contribute something to society during these troubled times. I felt that the best I could do was to use my professional talents to document for posterity the lives of people in my neighbourhood experiencing lockdown restrictions. I photographed them through the window of their homes as, in self-isolation, they looked forlornly out onto the desperate world outside.
I shot in the evenings as I love the twilight feel and the sensa of drama it created. As twilight diminished the indoor tungsten light illuminated the windows and the rooms producing a surreal cinematic quality.
One of my favourite images is of Penelope. I was intrigued to discover that she lived on a houseboat, berthed on the Thames at Eel Pie Island, London, very close to where I live. No cars are permitted on this mini island that was quite often used by the Rolling Stones for gigs. I always wanted to visit this super quirky place.
Up to now my 12-year old son had been helping me carry the gear with the lighting. This time it was a tricky location to access, a steep ladder was needed to get onto Penelope’s boat before jumping across to her neighbour’s and a third boat to get the perfect view. We could only manage to set everything up at high tide. The boats kept drifting apart and we had to hand-hold the lighting on the boat and I had to hang over the railings to get the right angle.”