My name is Suzie Larke and I’m a visual artist and photographer.
My current project, ‘Unseen’ uses conceptual photography to illustrate the experience of struggle of a group of participants. I use constructed imagery, digitally stitching photographs together in such a way that they present as a single, untampered image. By using ‘magical realism’ to transform photographs that take the everyday and skew it, I create images that are better able to interpret the subjective experience of struggles with mental well-being.
When the UK began lockdown at the end of March, I was preparing for the first show in a touring exhibition of my work. The work was set to travel to London, Belfast, Cardiff and then back to London. For obvious reasons, my exhibitions are currently postponed.
At first I wasn’t sure what to do. The work I’d already made felt strangely poignant. I soon realised I really wanted to illustrate some of the experiences that people were going through, as a result of the pandemic.
Due to restrictions I had to adapt my approach slightly. I couldn’t work with a lot of people I’d previously photographed as they lived too far away.
I started by photographing members of my own household and my neighbour. We worked through ideas that expressed something of their struggles with lockdown, and anxieties around the virus. As lockdown eased slightly I was able to work with two more people that live near me. We were able to carry out the shoots outdoors and maintain social distancing. I’m currently working on more images.