Carnarvon photographer showcases own COVID isolation “Driveway Project”

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
Carnarvon residents Frankie and Zach Tyler in their driveway.
Camera IconCarnarvon residents Frankie and Zach Tyler in their driveway. Credit: Maryanne Livsey

A new exhibition promises to give locals and tourists an insight into what life was like in Carnarvon during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inspired by similar pandemic projects, photographer Mary-Anne Livsey started taking portraits from driveways and front yards early last year.

Carnarvon resident Paula Mogg poses for the COVID driveway photo project.
Camera IconCarnarvon resident Paula Mogg poses for the COVID driveway photo project. Credit: Maryanne Livsey

To keep things interesting, Ms Livsey asked participants to get creative with props and costumes to make the photos their own.

“I asked people, ‘just show me what you are doing at the current time. If you are having a couple of drinks show me that, or if you are in your jim-jams ready for bed then show me that,” she said.

“One photo was of a nurse who was travelling around Australia and got stuck with COVID. One old couple put a whole pile of bears over their front porch then had a blackboard saying ‘bearing up’.

“Other people sat on the back of their boat and some were business owners so they were sitting on the back of their work ute to showcase the work they were doing.”

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Ms Livsey said she had initially been surprised when the Shire of Carnarvon invited her to host a photo exhibition at the library.

“I was thinking, ‘why would anyone else want to see the photos?’ But (the Shire officer) explained this showcases a modern bit of history in that the photos were taken in a worldwide pandemic,” she said.

This showcases a modern bit of history in that the photos were taken in a worldwide pandemic.

“In 30 or 40 years time, all the little kids in the photos will be able to look back and say ‘that was me during COVID’.”

Ms Livsey said Carnarvon residents had emerged from the pandemic relatively unscathed.

“Carnarvonites are pretty resilient people with all the cyclones and floods we have had over the years, so this was just a little bump,” she said.

The 2020 COVID Driveway Project Exhibition will be on display at the Carnarvon Library and Art Gallery until June 10.

The images have also been compiled into a book, which is available for viewing at the library.

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