Notes from Lockdown: Justin French

In a content series curated by Rose Forde, contributors from issue 26 reflect on the new normal. Here, photographer Justin French shares his thoughts on self-imposed exile


a time for compassion, when time lost increases loss

too many words, too many channels, too many rules, too many choices

murky history, muddy future

all the reasons to smile, every reason to cry

so many colours the world has now, the sudden stasis brought into focus

silence where there was chaos, devastation where there was comfort

terrestrial roots watered, technological routes strained

love bonds stronger, kinks strung taught

challenged to be more human than we’ve had to be….

learning more than expected through self reflection

became a jack of all trades via necessity

cook, cleaner, gardener, nutritionist, therapist, chemist, civil servant

quelling the fear of unknown for others, neglecting my own

an over utilised shoulder and ear

the relief on faces that have secured access to much needed resources

the daily briefings that heighten our anxiety and remind us just how flawed and human we are

a pandemic with a mysterious origin, and untold impact on the human body

in circumstances where we need human compassion and touch most

self imposed exile as a means of survival

which I intend to emerge from with love and reinforced sense of charity