London was beautiful during lockdown. Weather-wise it was one of the best summers on record: not too hot, warm and almost always sunny. Having a dog meant I was ‘allowed’ to out for a walk a few times a day and I did that, almost to the point of breaking the dog.
But it was strange to not be able to meet people. At the beginning it was frightening to even see people – walking down a deserted street if another person passed by it was a moment of panic ‘what if they give me The Disease’??!! After a while it became clear that it was much harder to pass the virus outdoors if there is not too much proximity.
Butit was definitely a strange summer. In fact this summer has been much worse: more uncertainty, dreadful weather (not summer at all) and frankly, sheer exhaustion.
That’s why Olivia Harris’s photography installation at Haggerston Park in London E2 is so enjoyable and fascinating. In a series of large, colour photographs, she captures the way people in the neighbourhood coped with enforced isolation. She photographed them in their gardens, stairwells, rooftops. She shows both the isolation and the joyous moments when people were able to come together.
The installation can be seen in Haggerston Park, Whiston Rd E2. If you go, check out the Haggerston City Farm and the cafe Frizzante.