Above Us Only Sky (2020)

A self-initiated project working across digital and physical environments

Above Us Only Sky was a self-initiated project developed in response to some of my experiences during the first COVID-19 lockdown. Although I’m an introvert and comfortable in my own company, there were days when being confined to my small, terraced house felt overwhelmingly claustrophobic. On one of these days, I found myself lying under my dining room table in a desperate and angry attempt to find a different view. Missing the experience of visiting galleries, I realised in this moment that there were many hidden spaces in my home that I could use to curate exhibitions in. Informed by my research into artist-led projects in digital environments and fuelled by my need to feel connected to a creative community, I sent an invitation out into the world.

I wanted to create a project that could ignite a small, but tangible, spark of joy that could offer some respite from the challenges of living through a pandemic. I put a call out for collaborators on Instagram and my blog, asking people to send me a Polaroid or an Instax photo of the sky above them, in return for one of mine. This simple invitation yielded a high return and in addition to the UK, I received photographs from the US and Canada. The project evolved into so much more than swapping photos; I appreciated the trust that people put in me, valued their kindness, and recognised the power of a collective experience to lift the spirits during challenging times. I curated an online exhibition of the photos though a dedicated Instagram account and another on the underside of my dining room table.

You can view a slideshow of images from this project here.