Keswick in Lockdown Portraits Shortlisted

With great excitement, Tim Fisher, photographer and owner of the Northern Lights Gallery in Keswick can announce that two of his “Keswick in Lockdown” portraits have not only been shortlisted for the annual Portrait of Britain top 200 images, but both images have been selected as part of the Winning 100 Portraits in this, the 6th annual Portrait of Britain, 2020.

Having had his portrait images selected in two previous years, Tim says, “ It is hugely gratifying to see that some of my series, “Keswick in Lockdown” pictures are considered both contemporary and relevant enough to be selected in 2020 for this prestigious nationwide competition, published book and exhibition”.

From 23 April, a month after the town was locked down, Tim says, “I asked the residents of Keswick via facebook if I could come a photograph them during lockdown, how they were spending their days in those few very strange weeks, which in turn resulted in a series of portraits and formed a body of photographic documentary evidence of how the town and its residents managed through the pandemic”.

Tim is keen to emphasis that, “All of us in the town were hugely aware that we we the fortunate ones, with mountains, streams, parks, lakes, landscape and nature on our very doorsteps, our back yards, whereas others in the UK & worldwide were less fortunate than ourselves, living in cities and urban areas many were clearly suffering during this period”.

“This then is my response to this pandemic, of unbridled optimism, hope, joy, celebration, of the interconnectedness of our species, the reverence shown by Keswick residents, of our privilege in living in what Bill Bryson termed “The Lake District, when it is fine, and it usually is at least that, is surely the most beautiful place on earth”, and Keswick is the surely the jewell in that national park crown” says Tim.

The PoB is the nation’s biggest photography exhibition, with the100 winning portraits being displayed on JCDecaux network of digital screens countrywide, from railway stations, bus stops and airports to shopping malls and high streets. This in turn makes it the largest art exhibition in the country. Both of Tim’s portraits will be shown in this exhibition.

The 200 shortlisted entries will also be featured in the Portrait of Britain book, Vol. 3, published by Hoxton Mini Press and distributed worldwide.

The annual Portrait of Britain is an award-winning nationwide photography exhibition run by the British Journal of Photography in partnership with JCDecaux, celebrating the rich tapestry of the people who make up Great Britain.

Dancing Divas:

Two sisters photographed during the VE Day celebrations.
Keswick, held a number of low-key events on a local level, this one being in Latrigg Close. The day’s celebrations began with tea and scones, 1930 / 40’s music, singing and dancing which culminated at dusk with champagne and clapping for the NHS, even though it was a Friday.

Residents of the Close had begun clapping the NHS from the outset, which then developed into a sing and dance beforehand, some bingo thrown in for good measure too on occasions, eventually working their way through 152 songs in total.

Aside from the VE Day Celebrations, the residents also celebrated Captain Tom’s achievements, one resident's 50th and a choir sang for one young girl’s 6th birthday celebrations during the lockdown, culminating with a final song & disco on June 20th.

Various newspapers picked up on these events and pictures, with both a four-page and a more recently a one page spread in Cumbria Life Magazine in back-to-back issues, unsurprisingly the local Keswick Reminder Newspaper also published many images both on-line and in the paper, there was also a large spread about the town in lockdown also published in 

Eddie Sings:

“Freddie” Eddie Burrows mimed every night for over two months beginning on the 24th March, initially in his hot tub for his wife, the manager of The Lake Inn pub.

Next thing he knows, he’s been given an amp and speakers by local band, “The Deadbeats” and thereafter, every evening he climbed atop his adjacent concrete garage / shed and mined his way though his favourite tracks, buying outfits from eBay to better entertain his wife and assembled Keswick town’s folk.

BBC Radio Cumbria got wind of his antics, interviewed him, which in turn ramped up his non- Keswick viewing audience, with 10,000+ views on YouTube at the last glance.

Working his way through Elvis back numbers, a compilation of tracks by the Beegees & Blues Brothers, via way of John Travolta and Ami Winehouse, but finding his niche with Queen tracks and performances by Freddie Mercury, that’s when he really hit the high notes of local Keswick fame.

Eddie’s days were spent recording new tracks and practising his act for that next night, culminating in a 4.5hr mine-marathon on his last night in early June, raising over £700 along the way for a local NHS charity.