Doorstep portraits from Ipswich street offer glimpse into life in lockdown
- Credit: Photo: Philip JC King
When historians look back at how people in 2020 coped with the Covid-19 pandemic, Philip King’s striking gallery of people on their daily exercise in Ipswich in Ipswich may just provide an answer.
Despite the challenges of living in lockdown, the semi-professional photographer and keen runner was eager to discover how government restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus earlier this year had changed some people’s habits for the better.
Setting up his photographic equipment outside his home in Picton Avenue, he pictured people as they passed by on their daily exercise - some walking, others jogging.
They include many dog walkers, several couples and one person on a bike - but all images, Mr King believes, show the benefits exercise has given people during the lockdown.
“It was the one thing people were allowed to go out and do,” he said.
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“There was not the opportunity to do team sports or exercise classes, so people were finding new ways of exercising.”
He said running, walking and cycling had “become more of a feature of life for some of us during the coronavirus pandemic” and added: “We’ve discovered new areas to explore, fields and paths, streets and countryside that we might not have otherwise found.
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“We’ve enjoyed more of nature - noticed the birds more, or smelt the flowers afresh or seen the stars more clearly. And we’ve been able to help ourselves keep active and fit during this period.
“I’m a semi-professional photographer and I’m also runner, so I thought: ‘Why don’t I do a project where I capture portraits of people exercising?’
“All were taken from my driveway, with some photographic kit set up in my front garden.
“It was nice chatting to people about the exercise they were doing. Some were out for a short walk, some were exercising regularly. Quite a few had discovered fields near to where they live for the first time.
“It was nice to hear people discovering new bits of their neighbourhood.”
On his website, Mr King added that his “Active Ipswich” gallery “aims to capture a small part of Ipswich life, and to encourage us all in our daily exercise”.