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The world stopped turning and you turned a blind eye – Dan Briston

‘The World Stopped Turning and You Turned a Blind Eye’ takes its inspiration from the spring 2020 lockdown period beginning a time of pause and reflection, though my observations of the world in this period were of ignorance and disregard. 

The lockdown period had me spinning thoughts around my head while lost in boredom, predominantly about how those in densely populated cities would find it near-impossible to be in touch with the natural world during this period of heightened anxiety. I felt empathy for those less fortunate. I began seeing, for instance, a launderette closed as if forever and thinking, “how on earth are they coping?” for as long as we are indoors, we are blind to the plight of others.

As the situation progressed, I began thinking more about being outdoors as a fundamental part of life. I believe a positive relationship with the outside world is incredibly important for maintaining stable mental health, and in this desperate time, people everywhere were unfortunately locked away from it, distanced from its benefits. Simultaneously, trips outside became routine and regime. I had one hour to make pictures for the project that was now growing roots. 

At the same time, when I revelled in my opportunity to spend time outdoors – our blessed hour a day – I was reminded of the sincere neglect of the great outdoors, which spoke to me of a feeling of discontent erupting from a deeper place than where the anxieties of the pandemic were rooted. Surrounded by frustration, ignorance, impatience and disrespect, we found a new feeling of connection to the world – one in which we have come to understand requires a revolution to succeed. That revolution has already begun.

These photographs are each a story within themselves of personal and collective frustration, on micro and macro levels, in the moment and of the era. They are a narrative, an anomaly to normal life and ask you to seek to unravel the abnormalities and frustrations within them. To abandon class and status and imagine the scenario without the privileged view in which many experienced the events of this year.

The work continues with the announcement of a second period of lockdown, though the area in which this work has been created (Preston, Lancashire) was never really fully “out” of its lockdown. I plan on publishing the work when we are safely rid of the virus and can look upon the work as history, with the self-reflection that’s necessary to view the work appropriately. The work has been created whilst adhering to government guidelines.

I’m Dan Briston, I’m a freelance photographer from Norfolk currently living in Preston, Lancashire. My work is mostly documentary-based; I look for a sense of tension, surrealism and the slightly absurd in life and invite reflection upon my imagery. More recently, my interests lie in the environment and sustainability. I also enjoy working with music and in film. /

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