“Looking Out From Within” by Photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten

Every three days or so, for the past few weeks, Julia Fullerton-Batten has been photographing people in self-isolation in their homes. She initiated the idea with a call for participants on social media, and through the local press in her home area of West London, and the response was enormous.

Fullerton-Batten says the project has given her an opportunity to meet people she wouldn’t have otherwise met. “They cover the entire spectrum of society and occupations which, in itself, has been a fascination to me. I am also re-learning how to take pictures in a simpler way without a large crew!”

Of her process, she says, “No physical contact is made. They stand at their windows and we communicate through the window with hand signals or by phone. Everything is discussed prior the shoot; the type of masks and wardrobe that can be anything from nightgowns to funky or formal dress worn especially for the photoshoot. My twelve- year old son Finn helps me carry the lighting. We set it up and a few poses later the shoot is over. I also interview each person I photograph in an informal way.”

Have a look at some of the images she’s captured, along with some of the interviews, below.

SERENA AND CHLOE, Lockdown Day 16

How has Covid-19 affected you?
The biggest impact Covid 19 has had on me is through my work. As a photographer in the early stages of my career, I’ve gone from such a fast paced work life to one that’s been completely shut down.

What lessons has Covid-19 taught you so far?
It’s allowed me to relearn the importance of giving myself time to rest and re ect.

Who do you live with?
My mum and my younger sister

What do you miss the most?
Definitely the social side of things, I really took hanging out with my friends for granted. I’ve also had to miss out on travelling for work and holidays during this time which has been a real shame.

Tell me a bit about your current situation.
My main priority is keeping myself and everyone around me safe. Staying indoors is a small sacri ce to make for the safety of others, so my main aim is to nd new ways of using this time positively and taking care of my mental health.

OTTO, Lockdown Day 82

Covid 19 has affected me seeing friends, my schoolwork and fun activities. It’s taught me that everyone needs to stay more hygienic. My sister, my mum and my dad and two cats. I miss sport, activities and friends the most. It’s very interesting because it is turning everything into one big puzzle because of how much things have changed and how differently things could have been if this virus hadn’t arrived from China.

PENELOPE, Lockdown Day 51

Covid 19 has been such a wake up call for the world and it can be a challenge not to be engulfed by fear but instead to look ahead in hope for the future. I try to limit the amount of news, yet keep informed and paradoxically, have connected more with others and deepened relationships even though I live alone. I am very grateful to live on the river where I do, surrounded by nature, wonderful neighbours and being more still, less rushing about, – has woken me up to the beauty of what is right here. It’s definitely a lesson how nothing can be taken for granted and how precious life is. Like for us all, its tough not seeing those you love but so many ways to connect in the meantime, thank you technology! I’m an actress, writer and freelance in the corporate sector so all are impacted but I have found many opportunities to work on various projects and keep connected with my employers and fantastic agent.

ANN, Lockdown Day 74

We have probably been less seriously affected by the virus than many other people: We are retired, live on our own in a fairly spacious house with a garden, and we have access to good local shops and pleasant riverside walks. Moreover, we are retired academics so we can continue with various aspects of our working lives even under quarantine: we can read, write, and take part, online and by email, in research projects and publishing projects.

We were never fans of the current government, but their handling of this crisis has taught us not to trust them or their advisers, even their medical advisers. On the other hand we have learned that most of our neighbours (including some we had not met before) are sensible and willing to be helpful. The Thursday clapping ritual has been as important for fostering community spirit as for appreciating essential workers.

We miss friends and social contacts of course, and travel, both national and international. We miss theatres, cinemas, restaurants and pubs. While acknowledging that we are in a better position than many, we are naturally anxious about the outcome, both for ourselves (we are over 70) and for others. We want to be able to look back on this very strange time but no-one knows when it will end.

MALAIKA, Lockdown Day 18

How has Covid-19 affected you?
I haven’t been able to see my friends and some of my family. For example, over the Easter holiday, my family and I were supposed to go to Uganda in Africa to see family, but sadly the flight was cancelled. My cousin from France was supposed to come to London for his internship, but that has been postponed.

What lessons has Covid-19 taught you so far?
Covid-19 has taught me to spend more quality time with my family and enjoy the time playing games together.

Who do you live with?
I live with my mum, dad and brother.

What do you miss the most?
I miss seeing friends and family and going outside without staying 2 metres away from everyone.

Tell me a bit about your current situation.
Currently, I think our situation is okay because we have a garden to play in and get fresh air. We don’t need to go out of the house, unless for food and supplies. From next week, I will be starting online classes and online music lessons, so that our teachers can check in with us.


How has Covid 19 affected you?
Covid 19 has a ected me many ways but I suppose the most stark is the work. Turns out Richard and I didn’t choose very practical day jobs when there’s a lockdown and you’re not allowed near other people. I miss gigs and at the moment have no work in sight for 2020.

As for what it’s taught me, I think the true answer might be a while in the making but at the same time, the core things of what we value here… what makes us laugh, what makes us sad, they are all the same. I don’t know that I needed a pandemic to know that I love my ‘normal’ life and being able to see my family and friends.

Richard and I are in lockdown with our 5 kids and it’s as peaceful as you’d imagine. We also have our au pair here who ended up stranded after she got unwell and the flights were cancelled. Jelena has been amazing, but I’m very conscious of giving her her own space and a break from us. There’s no let up for the rest of us. It’s not been easy and there’s been many tears and tantrums but it’s not been terrible either. Same for most families I’d imagine.

It’s hard to put into words what i miss. I’ve thought about it a lot. it’s not the tangible although of course sunday lunches with loved ones, singing with my band in front of a crowd and making plans have been things I’ve pined for… I think what I miss most is the usually casual nature of my life. Watching my kids running about outside without worrying they are too close to others, choosing which days I’m free to grab a coffee with someone, making a plan for a date night… I miss not having to second guess everything and I miss not worrying I’ve stood too close to my mum when I’ve waved at her from the path outside her front door.

Our current situation has been a bit barking. The last two and a half months have been a heady mix of domesticity and discos. We’ve broadcast a little disco party from our home every Friday at 6.30 and even though it’s the maddest thing I’ve ever done (kids and wires everywhere), it’s also kept richard and I sane. He focuses on the technical side and does the lming and sound while I put on my sequins and sing. The kids dance and it gives us all a lift. It’s been special and has made the heaviness of the world’s reality a little easier to bear.

KATE, JUDE AND BELLE, Lockdown Day 47

I’m almost sure I had the virus, in the middle of March for around 2 weeks. I lost my sense of taste and smell and had crippling headaches. I didn’t eat or read or even listen to the radio but just lay in a fug of nausea and headache pills. I’m not sure if this period has taught me a lesson other than it is possible to be locked down without going mad. But I’m lucky, as I have work, a dog to walk and I live with my husband and 2 teens. I am immensely grateful to have a small garden and an outside table. I miss hugging my friends and long lazy lunches and dinners at each other’s houses. I miss art galleries, cafes, going somewhere else apart from nearly every park in London with the dog.

Covid has stopped me taking my a levels and cancelled many of my summer plans, potentially my rst term of university too, basically 8 months of my life have been cancelled. I have learnt how structure my days around what I’d like to do, rather then what I ought to do. I’ve also tried to learn to not value myself by how busy I’m being, and to take time doing thing. I’ve been living with my family, which has actually been very good for our relationship, I think it’s the ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude. I miss my social life quite a bit, going out and seeing people. I also feel a bit purposeless.

Covid 19 is the strangest thing I’ve ever experienced in my 16 years , but for some reason i’m quite relaxed about it. I’m surrounded by family which I thought would be more frustrating but we have actually been getting along better then ever . I think one way that it is really affecting me is that I desperately miss my friends, seeing my friends means a lot to me and makes me happier so that has been the hardest thing however due to phones and social media I have been in contact with them 24/7 though it is just not the same as seeing them in real life.

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