Keywork by Chris Hoare (with an essay by Dr Shawn Naphtali Sobers)

After more than a decade of photographing his native city of Bristol, Chris Hoare reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic with a new series of images about the city during lockdown. Continuing his job as a bicycle courier, delivering food each day on Bristol’s deserted streets throughout the national lockdown in 2020, he began photographing with a point and shoot camera from his bike.

“I became interested in the way the word 'Keywork' was being thrown around to describe many occupations which until that point went under the radar and were unrespected.”

Being a keyworker himself offered Hoare a unique perspective from which to photograph the city, as he visited the houses of customers from a diverse range of economic backgrounds each shift. In between his deliveries, Hoare encountered and photographed other keyworkers, lone figures carrying out their jobs on the empty streets and in supermarket car parks. Bristol’s long standing struggle with homelessness is another key theme of the work. While out delivering, Hoare became aware that besides Keyworkers, the only people he saw in the streets were those without a home to isolate in.

“We talked about a lot of things, particularly how the pandemic had affected them… Many went into the hotels, but many didn’t, deciding it better for them to stay on the street where they were.”

In spontaneously observed moments, Hoare describes life during lockdown in a UK city, touching upon themes of community, homelessness, and the stratification of wealth in the city of Bristol, the blossoming of spring during lockdown, and the role of key workers throughout the time.

The book contains an accompanying essay written by Bristol-based anthropologist, Dr Shawn Sobers.
Year: 2021
Pubisher: Besides Press
Printer: Mixam, UK
Silkscreen Printing: Vino Sangre
Printing: CMYK Offset
Edition: 250
Size: 210x148mm
Pages: 80
Images: 50
Paper: Silk Photo Paper 120gsm
Cover: GF Smith Colourplan 180gsm

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