By A M Hanson
Spring Rays, but for how long? Like many I sought the fresh air and solace in The Regent’s Park over the weekend as the first sunny days of spring appear and herald new life.
With my ever ready camera it was a chance to capture new behavioural scenes in these sharply shifting times, with uncertainty over openness during the age of coronavirus hanging in the air.
I zipped across the Euston Road with, yep, a spring in my step like never before. Eager to breathe a bit more easily, knowing deep down it might be a while until again. Busy in parts but not as overtly packed as reports from other open spaces.
Locals and visitors enjoyed the much welcomed blossoms and blooms and sparkling sunshine in the Avenue Gardens. People mostly were careful to observe distancing it seemed. Many placing themselves in pockets of isolation in the brightly lit and breezy landscape. Some flying kites. It feels this Spring couldn’t come quickly enough.
Imagine the dawn of Covid-19 during this past winter and the tiring division Brexit brought. Across the country floods added to the trouble and worry for many. But thankfully there is no stopping Spring, the joy and energy it naturally brings.
It was intriguing to see the difference here. Self separation in place, small family groups being alert, individuals finding some peace and direct fixes of vitamin D.
Many passed each other closely it has to be said. Impossible not to at turns and gates. Some further gathered in groups, trying some form of social as best they could.
There was a vibe of more friendliness, people passing by with cheeriness. Others looked somewhat down and glum. Most just trying to grab what sunshine and freedom they could as the era of coronavirus and its cruel uncertainty kicks in. Can’t really blame them.
Is it just a mirage? Will it work into the darkly bright times ahead?.
If it doesn’t, well, some small comfort and light can be absorbed from the idea that wherever we find ourselves over the coming days, spring itself begins on the inside. Here’s to that vital, always potent, feeling.
Summer will follow. Hot and cruel — let’s hope not. Let’s aim for warm and compassionate. A different age approaches, better to see some light.
Keep Shining Fitzrovia, inside, and when you have to, out.
A M Hanson is a London based artist, photographer and director. His folios of portraits, performances and documentary work can be seen here: www.amhanson.co.uk/info