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Lockdown Blues, Billy Kenrick
Lockdown Blues, Billy Kenrick
Lockdown Blues, Billy Kenrick
Lockdown Blues, Billy Kenrick
Lockdown Blues, Billy Kenrick

    Lockdown Blues, Billy Kenrick


    Images taken at the outset of the pandemic, while observing restrictions in the artist's hometown, in the Irish midlands. A fragmentary document, created at a moment of global stasis and isolation. The work is a sequence of disintegrating vignettes and 35mm film off-cuts. Created in response to the creatively stifling atmosphere of life under 'lockdown'.


    The project is set in the artist's hometown, in the Irish midlands, where he went for what was supposed to be a two-week intermission, and ended up staying for two and a half months. These image-fragments are from around May 2020, during the many looped walks made during that time. It was at the early stages of the pandemic — a pervasive low-level fear had set in, and the regular dynamics of daily life slowed to an eerie near-halt.

    The impetus was to make a set of images, not about lockdown or about a certain place, but, as it always is, out of the experience Kenrick was having. In this sense, it is not at all a documentary work. The sequencing is non-narrative — apart from some kind of movement from day to night time. The photographs themselves barely survive the stages of chemical processing and printing. The cover is deliberately free of labels or information — it features the scarred texture from an offcut of photographic film — and the title is perfunctory, signifying some anomalous malaise. Within this, the images are presented in a black frame — everything is constrained, happening in a confined space. The colour blue features as minimal visual nod, in the hand-stitching.

    The scenes, when legible, depict halting sites, GAA fields, the walls of an old scout den, a patch of trees, ghost-estates now old, country back-roads, power stations — typical settings in any mid-sized half-urban / half-rural Irish town. Simultaneously, the series draws attention to the process itself: the photographs are at once emergent & and disintegrative. It is a site-specific, gestural work, signifying most of all the impulse to create something, in response to, and in spite of, such dismal circumstances.

    Self Published
    Edition of 40
    28 pages
    210 x 210 mm