On the 21st March, as the UK’s first lockdown began, I packed all that was most important to be into three bags and left London, my home of thirty years, not knowing when – or if – I’d see the city again.
I travelled to a small village in county Clare, with a population of just 150 people.
I was now the immigrant, returning to Ireland’s shores.
A 2km radius from the point you live was set by the government when I was there. These pictures are all made within the confines of that radius, from April – August 2020.
Each image was cast and planned, photographing people in their own homes, experiencing ordinary, undramatic moments, the domestic moments we all experienced in these isolated days of the pandemic.
I followed the government’s lock down guidelines as they unfolded, at first making the photographs from outside the locations looking in, to the first day when a family gathering was allowed to happen inside again in a shared communal space after three months of separation.
In these images, l was trying to create a series which felt like film stills lifted from an unknown movie, a movie with no clear beginning nor end, a metaphor for the uncertainty of our lives in these times.
There are no stars in this film: each person is an extra with the same emotional depths as every other person in the story; the person in the background, the person unseen, the ordinary person who reflects who we all are and how we live.
I wanted each image to feel like a pause in time – a moment captured in the flow of the river that the proverb says you can never step twice in.
The Landing Light is a development of all my previous projects, creating portraits which are also portraits of space and time, a record of emotions and atmosphere rather than a literal document of someone’s life and place.