Wrexham Museum’s forecourt is the venue for a new photographic exhibition about life under lockdown in Wrexham. The outdoors display of a series of images by local photographers, Craig Colville and Carwyn Rhys Jones captures some of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown on the local community in the first few months of the crisis.
Professional photographer, Craig Colville, had been working with Wrexham Museum on Wrexham 2020, a photographic project recording life in the county borough inspired by the great photojournalists Philip Jones-Griffiths, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Dorothea Lange. The announcement by UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on March 23rd of the lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic meant that Wrexham 2020 has proved to be no ordinary year.
Craig Colville said: “Documenting how Covid has impacted on life in Wrexham has been a challenging but a very rewarding experience. From photographing staff at Wrexham Maelor donning layers of PPE on the hottest day of the year to the enthusiastic work of the volunteers at PPE HWB,I hoped to document how everyday life has changed dramatically over the past few months.
Photography is an often overlooked tool to document, inform and storytell and can be used to hold people to account. I hope that my work does all of the above.
I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the images from the project on display outdoors at the museum as I think outdoor displays are a great way to showcase photographic work to an audience.”
Early on during the lockdown, Wrexham Museum, became aware that local photographer Carwyn Rhys Jones was also trying to record the impact of the pandemic on Wrexham. Staff at the museum invited him to join the project and so provide a wider record of the lockdown.
Carwyn Rhys Jones said “I started taking photographs during the lockdown as I felt that it needed to be documented as it would be a part of our history. I was sitting in the house and felt that the world had suddenly stopped and I felt that I needed to explore what was going on in Wrexham on my daily walks. From photographing the empty streets of Wrexham the project developed to documenting the local people of Wrexham. The project developed from strength to strength to what we have today. I was trying to achieve a visual diary of what was going on and how people were feeling about this pandemic from their positives and negative experiences. I agreed to be involved in this project as I felt it went hand in hand in what I was trying to do which was documenting history. I also always wanted my photographs to be part of an archive that would be kept for future generations to learn about this particular time of history.”
Councillor Hugh Jones added “We would like to thank Craig and Carwyn for their participation in this project and for providing a visual record of how the pandemic has impacted on life in Wrexham County Borough. Each picture tells a story and what stories they are. Although the museum has been open again since August 3, we decided to display the photographs on the forecourt to make the display accessible to the maximum number of people and because people feel more confident outdoors.”
The display opens on September 23, 2020 and will be on show until March 21, 2021. An online version will be available from November 23, 2020.
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