Through Our Lens: Growing Up With Covid-19


The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted lives across the globe, hindering opportunity, enforcing isolation and severing ties between communities. News headlines reveal dangers to the elderly, frustrations of working from home and the struggles of keyworkers maintaining vital services, but what of the so-called ‘Covid generation’, teenagers young people trying to find their way in this unprecedented time?

Through our Lens is a project featuring poignant photographs made by a group of diverse young people from the Bradford District during the Covid-19 pandemic. Working with award-winning artist Carolyn Mendelsohn, who quickly responded to the critical need for community, collaboration and skill development during the first national lockdown, over 100 young people have taken part in the project. Initially offering guidance and mentoring via Zoom, Mendelsohn taught participants the skills to use photography as a tool to document their experiences and help make sense of their changing worlds.

Though we may be familiar with over arching stories of school closures and resource shortages, first hand stories of young peoples’ pandemic experience have largely gone untold. At a time when the NSPCC are reporting an increase of over 60,000 counselling sessions via its telephone service Childline, and mental health support providers detail an alarming increase in issues ranging from sleep deprivation to self-harm, it is vital to consider the lifelong impact that Covid-19 is having on future generations.

Featuring work made by 13 to 19 year olds during the first national lockdown, and 6 to 11 year olds during the third national lockdown, the exhibition will present some of the most compelling images documenting what life is like living with Covid-19. The teenagers represent a spectrum of socio-economic groups, including a number of refugees who moved to Bradford just months before the pandemic took hold.

Curated in collaboration with the young artists who made the work, the exhibition is both a reflection on a period of adversity as well as a celebration of the resilience, dedication and spirit of a diverse group of young people.

Angela Sheard, Associate Curator at Impressions Gallery says, ‘Reflecting back on almost two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, Through our Lens offers a vital window into how the next generation have adapted and grown through an incredibly challenging time. The photographs in the exhibition are some of the most thoughtful, perceptive and compelling photographic works to emerge from this period, demonstrating a skill beyond age and giving us an exciting insight into the next generation of photographers.’

Supported by public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Bradford Council Response grant.

As well as mentorship, Through Our Lens has been financially supported by Impressions Gallery since its inception, and the resulting exhibition will reflect the gallery’s investment in the project, helping to nurture a new generation of photographic talent.

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Through Our Lens: Growing Up With Covid-19

Type:Art Exhibition

Impressions Gallery, Centenary Square, Bradford, BD1 1SD
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Tel01274 737843

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Impressions Gallery Centenary Square City Park Bradford  courtesy Impressions GalleryImpressions Gallery, BradfordImpressions Gallery is a charity that helps people to understand the world through photography and acts as an agent for change

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