Everything stopped. The shops were closed, the roads were empty, the schools were quiet... and we stopped too.

Who would have imagined "staying at home" could be such a difficult task? Our towns and cities were our homes, but then our homes became four walls. Who would have imagined a world where we can not meet friends or even family? It was a shock these things were possible.

I have been running York Photography Meetup for over 2 years and after I cancelled all upcoming events I set up photography challenges that we can do at home. We met at the virtual pub every Saturday on our laptops and phones. Looking at other people's photographs and listening to their stories was cathartic - we were all going through the same things even if we reacted differently.

In this exhibition, you'll see different ways that people responded to this situation. Alec and Olga uses Lego to create humorous images. Malini and Minyung shares their personal photo diaries of lockdown. Chenyang shows his life confined to student accommodation, cooking delicious food. Denise shows her experiments with nature and landscapes that she made during furlough while Ian produced surreal pictures of empty city landscapes. Steve and Margaret show their images of York as a ghost town, and the growth of their garden over lockdown.

Life seems to be opening back up slowly, and it makes me wonder how we will remember this experience in the future. At best, I will remember it as something that gave me the time to consider where I am and where I am going - a brutal pause that I didn't want but probably needed.

Minyung Im