Bex Day’s latest exhibition reflects on the impact of Covid-19 on children

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Currently, on show at London’s Offshoot Gallery, Children of Covid combines portraits and text to reflect on the impact of this period of social isolation

In July 2020, photographer Bex Day’s friend observed that her two-year-old daughter was experiencing delays in speech development, due to a lack of social interaction. At the time, it had been four months since the UK entered its first Covid-19 lockdown. Now, a year later, six million children have spent months at home, unable to attend school. The effectiveness of remote education is difficult to determine, and since the beginning of the pandemic, repeated periods of isolation have chipped away at pupils’ progress. The long-term consequences of social isolation remain largely unknown, but humans are social beings, and for children, school is the most important arena to nurture social relationships.

The situation inspired Day to document how Covid-19 is impacting children during the formative ages of four to 13. Now the series is on show at London’s Offshoot Gallery in an exhibition curated by Sandrine Servent, featuring 26 portraits and text, alongside a film. The series follows on from Day’s last series, Seesaw, which explores her personal experience of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in the context of isolation. For Children of Covid, the photographer expands on her fusion of documentary and fashion photography. Cast by Day herself, with styling by Adam Winder, and hair by Tommy Taylor, she intended to create a timeless series of images, which depicts the unique and varied effects of the lockdown on each of the children she photographed. A handwritten text, by either the child or their parent, accompanies each image. Together, they endeavour to represent the experiences of children across the country.

Children of Covid by Bex Day is on show at Offshoot Gallery, London, until 31 July 2021. The exhibition is partnered with charities YoungMinds and Mind in Mind. Day is selling a limited edition of 100 prints at £100 to raise money for YoungMinds. The sale runs until 31 July 2021 here.

Read more excerpts from Day’s project in a picture gallery published in January 2021, here.

Marigold Warner

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Online Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Gal-dem, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.