Since the country came to a halt during the pandemic, many people have been battling with isolation and their mental health as Britons are urged to ‘stay at home’.
From feeling overwhelmed, bored, fearful and unemployable, the nation’s 10-18-year olds have revealed the harsh affects lockdown has had on their mental health through photography.
The Show and Tell exhibition saw more than 20,000 entries from young people answering the important question ‘how are you feeling?’ by picking one word and bringing it to life with an image.
The project opened for entries in December and continued until mid-January, with the final 83 being chosen for an online exhibition, while the judges’ top picks were also picked for a nationwide billboard campaign.
Celebrity judges, including photographer Rankin, model Daisy Lowe, presenter Anna Richardson and BBC Radio 5 Live’s Nihal Arthanayake, were each asked to pick their favourite entry to appear on billboards for one week.
British fashion photographer Rankin said: ‘I am thrilled to be a part of this fantastic project. I have always believed in the power of young voices and Show and Tell asks the right question at the right time to the right people.
‘I can’t wait to see the final selection of images and hear the voices of UK youth for this very special exhibition.’
Here, FEMAIL shares the judges’ top 15 images, which will be showcased on nationwide billboards as well on the Show and Tell online exhibition from February 15.
Suffering: Liana, age 16, from Nottinghamshire. Chosen by Lee Martin. Liana said: ‘The UK wasn’t doing good in 2020 and the start of 2021. As teenagers missed out on faceto- face education, our minds became a black hole. ‘I found that my mind became a mess. While the pandemic was going on, mental health in teenagers became worse; a loss of self confidence and an increase of worry and panic. ‘Some worry for the future, some don’t even see themselves in the future, some just don’t care. We’re all suffering one way or another. ‘It’s just what it has come to, and we can’t do anything about it.’
Fear: ‘Why has the constant fear encased me?’ Caitlyn, age 18, from Staffordshire. Chosen by Rankin
Sorrow: Adnan, age 11, from north London. Chosen by Anna Richardson
Jumbled: Max, age 18, from West Sussex. Chosen by Daniel Regan
Escape to my world: Willow, age 10, from Greater London. Chosen by Simon Cox
Sweet & Sour: Ort, age 11, from north London. Chosen by Sarah Ecclestone
Bored: Anne, age 10, from North London. Chosen by Carrie Scott. Anne said: ‘People say that life is short but it’s the longest thing you’ll ever witness. ‘In lockdown, I feel l ike time has stretched and the seconds seem like minutes, the minutes seem like hours, and the hours seem like days. ‘The future seems to be a long way away ahead of me and I just can’t see it in my eyes. ‘All I can see is the situation that I am presently in.’
Isolated: Joshua, age 16, from Lancashire. Chosen by Emma Hardy. Joshua said: ‘I feel isolated by the restrictions in our world right now. ‘My photo illustrates the struggles of lockdown, how it feels like we are trapped inside and left alone in the darkness. ‘We are restricted from being in the light. ‘The light cast across my face represents the opening of a door that creates a barrier between myself and a place of light, which is a metaphor for how I feel.’
World flipped upside down: Jessica, age 17, from south east Wales. Chosen by Daisy Lowe
Overwhelmed: Anna, age 16, from Cheshire. Chosen by Emerald Rose-Lewis
Unemployable: ‘Dear Rishi Sunak, I hope someday in the future you get to see that retraining and finding another job wasn’t how I intended to reach success, and that I am going to do it – my way.’ Fawziya, age 15, north London. Chosen by Nihal Arthanayake
Dismantled: Armand, age 10, from south east London. Chosen by Sophie Leach
Alone: ‘Lost and unaware of what’s ahead, she still travels on through the smoke and the fog to find what she’s looking for.’ Hollierose, age 18, Nottinghamshire. Chosen by Zak Avery
Free: ‘Looking back on living free.’ Bradley, age 15, north London. Chosen by Francis Augusto
Trapped: Ava, age 17, from Derbyshire. Chosen by Trevor Robinson OBE