I am a creative that uses photography and illustration to convey my ethical and sustainable endeavours. The focus for my work is often about sustainability within fashion and garment workers rights, however for my final major project I decided to create a documentary style book about key workers experiences of the pandemic.
I worked throughout the pandemic as a care worker which gave me an incredible insight into how challenging the coronavirus pandemic has been for key workers. I enjoy creating physical illustrations and paintings in addition to digital ones. It was important that I include this in my final major project. I chose to move away from sustainability for this project as I wanted to focus on another pressing issue which is the treatment of key workers. As a key worker myself I wanted to reflect this in my work as I am very passionate about the ethics behind my work and fighting for equality.
I moved away from my work in sustainability as my experience of being a key worker during the pandemic shed light on the issues here. I became aware of the irony that prior to the pandemic many key worker jobs were considered unskilled and undesirable, yet during the pandemic these people have been labelled as heroes. Having first hand experiences with this issue I wanted to make other people aware of it and show off the hard work of key workers.
Although, there has been media attention towards the respect of key workers this is not necessarily seen in reality. The issues with racism and inequality is rife in the perception of key workers, with my work I wanted to explore this and give it a more positive approach. The book FrontLine explores a very select few key worker roles, each person voiced how their job has changed and whether they felt more respected. I want my work to evoke the immense gratitude society should have towards key workers.
FrontLine is a self made publication, the book is an amalgamation of experiences from key workers. I photographed each worker and interviewed them about how the pandemic has impacted their line of work. The experiences for each job was so unique and deeply touching. It was an honour to photograph and interview each key worker. I chose to digitally draw a selection of the workers to incorporate my love of illustration. FrontLine is a printed one off 120 page book full of rich photography and digital artistry that honours those who worked tirelessly against Covid-19. Creating the book was a great experience that allowed me an insight into the different roles that key workers played. The book taught me many lessons in photography and graphic design which I will carry through to industry. It differs to my usual work which is often based around sustainability which was a nice break. To see further images of inside FrontLine see my website.