Sebastian Atkinstall

The Sign of Your Presence

archival pigment print

“The Sign of Your Presence” is a diary of images I made during the Coronavirus Lockdown of March-June in London. Every day I would go on a drive with my mum, shooting from the tinted backseat window as she drove. I would capture the people from the street as they went about their lives, walking riding their bikes and waiting for the bus.

Wearing rubber gloves, standing behind clincal masks, these images of otherwise mundane activities become hightened in their senes of unease, fear, and strangeness as we realise the conditions in which they were made.

In order to emphasise the sense of isolation and distance, I would often shoot my subejcts in a minimalist style, emphasising the sense of space between them, their surroundings and other subejcts, lending to a sense of sparceness and emptiness.

The emptiness of these streets provided the opportunity to address broader themes, such as the feelings of isolation and loneliness many feel living in the modern city, and the detatched observer reflecting on life around him. At the center of the work however is the timeless yearning for connection we all desire in this time of unprecedented social and spiritual distance.