The Lockdown Bench Series

An Ongoing Lockdown Project

Remember lockdown?

For some it was a golden age of creativity and banana bread baking. Those busy people who, being forced to stop endless rounds of work and socialising, actually found they had some time to just be for perhaps the first time ever, and that just being and not always doing was a creative spark.

For others it was a nightmare time of grinding hard work, fear, unease and death.

In Downing Street it was party time.

During lockdown the family took turns to walk our dog, Jasper. On my days I would take Jasper on a 5km walk to a local field. At the far end of the field, at the furthest point on the walk, sits a bench under an oak tree. I would walk to the bench, sit down for a moment, and then move on. After a few weeks I started to take a photograph on my phone each time I stopped at the bench, just as a way to mark being in a different place. In time I developed a series of images I’d take each time I sat at the bench that were almost a superstition and certainly a ritual: the field, the field with the path, the view left, the view right, and the tree above me. There were days when I took no photograph because other people were already on the bench. I thought I was okay with missing it, but I soon found that I’d experience a slight sense of panic as I approached, worried that someone else might be on the bench. I started to develop superstitious tendencies.

When there was someone at the bench I’d try several ways to get round it. Sometimes I’d take a photo from an alternative, lesser bench. Sometimes I would walk round again and come back to the bench a second or even third time to see if it was free. If not I would try to console myself that a null result in my image making was not only perfectly valid, but that it also said something important about this public space and my place in it.

It became my lockdown project, faithfully reflecting the dullness of my existence during that time, and so when lockdown was over I thought it would end. But it hasn’t. Although stopping to take a photograph at the bench has become less regular because it’s no longer the only place I walk with my dog, I still find that whenever I am there, in that place, I take the same series of photographs.

These images have been shot over several years, and the image making process is ongoing, as is the process of uploading the backlog. I’ll carry on adding to this page regularly and the most recent images will appear at the top. The entire image set runs back to approximately June 2020.

26th May 2022, Lockdown Bench

17th May 2022, Lockdown Bench

10th May 2022, Lockdown Bench

2nd May 2022, Lockdown Bench

28th April 2022, Lockdown Bench

26th April 2022, Lockdown Bench

25th April 2022, Lockdown Bench

12th April 2022, Lockdown Bench

29th March 2022, Lockdown Bench

24th March 2022, Lockdown Bench

23rd March 2022, Lockdown Bench

17th March 2022, Lockdown Bench

11th March 2022, Lockdown Bench

5th March 2022, Lockdown Bench

3rd March 2022, Lockdown Bench

22nd February 2022, Lockdown Bench

10th February 2022, Lockdown Bench

26th January 2022, Lockdown Bench

20th January 2022, Lockdown Bench

18th January 2022, Lockdown Bench

14th January 2022, Lockdown Bench

13th January 2022, Lockdown Bench

4th January 2022, Lockdown Bench

26th December 2021, Lockdown Bench

18th December 2021, Lockdown Bench

9th December 2021, Lockdown Bench

4th December 2021, Lockdown Bench

2nd December 2021, Lockdown Bench

27th November 2021, Lockdown Bench

25th November 2021, Image from The Lesser Bench

23rd November 2021, Lockdown Bench

20th November 2021, Lockdown Bench

18th November 2021, Lockdown Bench

18th November 2021, Lockdown Bench (Inferior Replacement)

11th November 2021, Lockdown Bench

9th November 2021, Lockdown Bench

3rd November 2021, Visit of the Alien

3rd November 2021, Images from The Lesser Bench

2nd November 2021, The Thing Itself

2nd November 2021, Images from The Lesser Bench

1st November 2021, Lockdown Bench

31st October 2021, Lockdown Bench

21st October 2021, Lockdown Bench

19th October 2021, Lockdown Bench

17th October 2021, Lockdown Bench

9th October 2021, Lockdown Bench

7th October 2021, Lockdown Bench

5th October 2021, Lockdown Bench

3rd October 2021, Lockdown Bench

2nd October 2021, Lockdown Bench

30th September 2021, Lockdown Bench

28th September 2021, Lockdown Bench

22nd September 2021, Lockdown Bench

19th September 2021, Lockdown Bench

16th September 2021, Lockdown Bench

13th September 2021, Lockdown Bench

9th September 2021, Lockdown Bench

31st August 2021, Lockdown Bench

26th August 2021, Lockdown Bench

20th August 2021, Lockdown Bench

17th August 2021, Lockdown Bench

12th August 2021, Lockdown Bench

10th August 2021, Lockdown Bench

5the August 2021, Lockdown Bench

3rd August 2021, Lockdown Bench

1st August 2021, Lockdown Bench

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