Against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the South African national lockdown, the Lampost Luminaries were challenged to respond creatively to the present moment and turn inwards to find inspiration during self-isolation.
For their second creative brief, the Luminaries were asked to create a series of images in response to the theme These 4 Walls. Kassie explains that “in a time of self-isolation, I wanted them to be creative and resourceful and use their living spaces, co-habitants and the inner workings of their mind to inspire them. I wanted them to see their situation and their surroundings as an opportunity to be creative and to be able to do what they love most – shoot.”
To fulfil this brief, the four young womxn photographers needed to think big to develop interesting concepts that could be executed in small spaces. They would be pushed to engage mentally, emotionally and physically to life apart. And through this, they would learn how limitations can lead to inspiration.
Lili Bo Ming’s concept, If These Four Walls Could Talk, explores the absurd humour of psychologically unravelling in isolation. In her series of highly textured and visually layered images, Lili explores the peculiar and strange things one does when kept in isolation for too long and how insanity begins to seep into the mundane.
Lili cast her grandmother as the subject of this series, a poignant reminder of how vulnerable and fragile the old aged are in society right now. This presented several challenges though, from the necessary COVID-19 precautions to directing an elderly person with dementia. Lili says that “trying to find the humour and beauty in life when there are quite
terrifying and real realities regarding the COVID-19 virus has proven to be both strenuous and in fact, extremely valuable. Especially as a creative – it is so important to keep on creating and expressing what is going on in the world and around you even if that world is ‘behind these four walls’”.
Reflecting on the project and what she’s gained through the process, Lili says “I’ve learned that my art is a vital tool to my mental health, it allows me to therapeutically communicate and convey the inner workings of my mind and heart and for that, I am blessed. I have also learned that despite really horrific times it’s so important to keep positive and find the lovely absurd happenings of everyday life.”