Historic England ask public to help record a week in lockdown

Historic England is calling on people across the South East to share images that document their experience of seven days in “Lockdown”. Ten contemporary artists from across the nation, including two based in the South East* have also been chosen to produce special images over the week.

From rainbows in windows and star jumps on balconies, to explorations of your local area, Historic England is asking people the South East to share images via their website that show how we are all facing the challenges of lockdown, self-isolation and social distancing.

© Katharine Grice

Running from Wednesday 29th April to Tuesday 5th May, the aim of the #PicturingLockdown project is to create a unique and reflective record of a week across the nation during this extraordinary moment in history. Historic England wants to spark a conversation about identity and its connection to history and place.

Claudia Kenyatta, Head of Regions at Historic England said“We are facing one of the most extraordinary moments in living memory. During this time of necessary lockdown restrictions, we are asking the public and some of our most talented contemporary artists to help us record history, whilst being careful to abide by the government’s social distancing measures. 

“We want people to show us their experiences of lockdown, how places local to them have transformed, communities have come together, and life has changed for us all. These challenging times are encouraging us all to pause and reflect upon our relationship with our surroundings. We hope this project inspires creativity and reflection, allowing the public to create a unique time capsule for the future.”

© Paul Marks

The Archive

100 of the images submitted by the public and artists will be chosen to enter the Historic England Archive to provide a record for the future. Of the submissions from the public, the 50 most evocative, informative and inspiring images will combine with 50 works from ten contemporary artists into a Collection. These will be catalogued by the Historic England Archive and will be made freely accessible online.

This is the first time the public have been asked to capture a moment in time and save it in the Historic England Archive of over 12 million photographs since the Second World War.

Contemporary Artists

The ten contemporary artists Historic England has also asked to take part in the project are based across the country. *The two artists based in the South East are:

  • Chloe Dewe Mathews is a photographic artist based in St Leonards-on-Sea. After studying fine art at Camberwell College of Arts and the University of Oxford, she worked in the feature film industry before dedicating herself to photography. Her work is internationally recognised, exhibiting at Tate Modern, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Museum Folkwang and Fotomuseum Antwerp, as well as being published widely in newspapers and magazines such as the Guardian, New Yorker, Financial Times, Harpers and Le Monde.
  • The award-winning Scottee, is an artist, writer and broadcaster who proudly boasts no formal education. Self-taught and from North London, he now lives and makes work in Southend on Sea, Essex. Across theatre, live art, public commissions, community activism and fine art Scottee’s work is often about forcing difficult conversations for the greater good. His work is often centred around class, queerness, fatness and survival.

Historic England is asking the public to keep to social distancing measures when taking part in this project and only go outside for food, health reasons or for work if you cannot work from home.

People across the South East invited to share submissions here: and on social media via #PicturingLockdown

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