Creating in a time of Separation

Discover More
NHS Flag


ALL IMAGES ©Anand Chhabra





The aim of this site is to encourage audiences to participate by uploading their images or their creative work & even comment about images on this platform during their time during lockdown. I also want to explore the changing nature of the lockdown regulations and what they mean to you. As a photogrpahic artist I will explore the themes that will encourage Health & Wellbeing by posting images with a theme each week and encourage you to post your images and will address your comments. Over the next 8 weeks, I will be exploring the changing nature of the lockdown regulations and what they mean to people. l will explore such themes as Health & Wellbeing, Social Distancing, Family, Community & Caring, Togetherness and Relationships, Keyworkers, Work, Food, Beliefs.

I would like to invite you to join me in reflecting the issues - please comment on the blog posts or upload relevant images of your creative work.


At the end of 8 weeks we will have a body of work that shows this extra ordinary time through the efforts of others in the wider community.



(latest weekly themes are situated at the top following the introduction)


Creating in a Time of Separation Project is a CreateSpace Project


Anand Chhabra



CreateSpace is a Creative Health CIC project in partnership with Arts Council England, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Staffordshire County Council.

Week 8 - Signs of the Times

WEEK 8 - Signs of the Times 


‘Photographing Signs’


There are so many signs that communicate everything from love, encouragement as well as fear & hate surrounding Covid-19.  Signs describing our time in separation are displayed everywhere, and everyone seems to be in on the act churches, schools, neighbourhoods, media are trying to vie for our attention. It’s an important time to record these photographs, along with our journey together during these times that capture/record truth with meaning for each one of us within our own communities. 


Recording signs can also be quite good fun in capturing various subject matter  or even  how they communicate to us and believe it or not as a record when you look back say in a few years time will invoke some very strong memories. Photography has the power to do that! Enjoy taking yours!


In our final week, I’m thankful to all who responded positively and shared and even those that looked in to the weekly themes.  We would love to see the ways signs around us have been creatively displayed and  has brought hope or even has inspired you to think differently and maybe you find it challenging . It will be great to see your images  and comments here


 NB (if uploading images of people please obtain their permission before doing so) 


All images © Anand Chhabra


WEEk 7 Food during Lockdown


WEEK 7 - Food in Lockdown


‘Food stories


I have been very fortunate living in a house full of food lovers and my family has found ways in getting creative with their cooking. My role has been to sample all the good things they have made! Everyone has found a routine by making their own breakfast lunch, while us as parents make dinner. I took this photo as I was lucky enough to get breakfast in bed from my kids on Father’s day. As the saying goes ‘Food loves stories’ and we would like to see you share your food images and stories about what you have made, created, celebrated and even got addicted to various culinary delights. Upload or comment post here. 


WeeK 6 Key workers Part 2


WEEK 6 - Key Workers - Part 2


‘Showing gratitude to our NHS Heroes’


Showing Gratitude to NHS heroes. The appreciation for NHS workers has been in my experience the most visual things I have recorded as a photographer in Wolverhampton during the pandemic. Especially for the community around the area I live, people have certainly shown their appreciation through their art and creativity. Thanks for our NHS heroes has been the thing that has galvanised & invigorated our communities the most. This particular photograph I have taken shows the lengths involving creativity that a local mechanic has gone to show their  appreciation.


 I have seen sheep with the NHS logo printed on their sides, schools everywhere posting mosaics made by pupils, Children colourings and art work in their windows at home, pavements chalked and from pubs to places of worship using their notice boards to thank the frontline workers risking their lives. Recording these images have been a very uplifting experience for me and we would love to see your images and comments on our shared social media platforms here:-


All images © Anand Chhabra


NB (portraits will need permission from individuals before posting)


WEEK 5 Key workers Part 1


WEEK 5 - Key Workers - Part 1


‘Celebrating Frontline Workers’


We have all seen images on TV of people celebrating key workers by clapping on a Thursday night through May & June this year. Without doubt this has been a great way of bringing the community together in the UK. Everyone is right to celebrate NHS heroes. I have been unable to personally  thank one or two friends who I know work as nurses and hospital staff, although I have been in touch with them, I can’t imagine what hardships and horrors they have been through. While as photographers we have been unable to get access to document the crisis in our hospitals, I took this image while watching the news concerning BAME workers at the NHS who have been disproportionately affected by the disease than others. Even still an image like this can speak a thousand words about the care shown in our hospitals. Its also a time to remember them and other key workers such as teachers, supermarket staff have all been part of keeping us going during lockdown. How have you witnessed the lives of key workers celebrated near you? It would be great to see your images and comments/stories about the care that key workers have demonstrated. 


 NB (any portraits will need permission from individuals before posting) 


WEEK 4 - Social Distancng


WEEK 4 - Social Distancing


How has the world changed for you?


It’s been quite something finding stories about people’s lives within close proximity to my home during lockdown. I was out with my camera just trying to photograph the art work that people have drawn on pavements or on walls & windows to thank the NHS. I spotted this gentleman walking in to the supermarket with full PPE gear and a gas mask. I see him & as  a photographer I immediately curious and follow him into the supermarket. As I approached and introduced myself to him, I asked why he was in full PPE. He told me he had recently had heart surgery and wasn’t taking any risks while he needed to go shopping as many Black & Asian communities have been disproportionately affected by the virus. Fortunately he didn’t mind being photographed as many people have taken photographs of him when shopping. The photograph shows the effect on our communities that has happened as a result of lockdown along with it a desire to be safe whilst social distancing. We see restrictions being lifted now as the results of social distancing has worked to reduce the number of infections and deaths. I wonder how social distancing has affected you under current restrictions & others during the current crisis whether its queuing up outside supermarket and finding products and empty shelves in short supply or the effect around our mental health.  Please share your own images/stories & comments here:- 




NB (portraits will need permission from individuals before posting)


Week 3 - Health & Wellbeing Part 2


WEEK 3 - Theme - Health & Wellbeing Part 2


Outdoor Activity during restrictions.


This is a photograph of my daughter Naomi pictured with our dog Poppy, the everyday activity of daily exercise all exposed us to the good weather during the Spring and with it an appreciation of nature, albeit with the uncertainty of COVID-19. Pictured here is my daughter, a keep fit fanatic taking her dog for a roller skating session and makes for a great portrait subject. The mask she is wearing brings us to the new reality and uncertainty of our times under lockdown, normally my daughter is used to socialising with her friends and so makes the most of what she can with her ‘best friend’ in isolation. We would love to see and hear of your  daily routine during lockdown as restrictions loosen along with seeing and  hearing  how you have been spending time outdoors reunited with loved ones on your days out. Particularly as this week we have to mask up around our shopping trips! Please send us your images and comments here:- 



WEEK 2 Theme - Health & Wellbeing Part 1



Week 2 Theme - Health & Wellbeing Part 1 (w/c 13th July)


Haircut 100!



As hairdressers return to opening their doors to the public on July 4th 2020. I have been reminded of the way we have been cutting hair and trying to maintain some sort of dignity under Lockdown. Keeping up with the latest fashion and hair in check is a serious part of many people’s health and wellbeing and during lockdown and no different with two teenage boys in our house.


Creating images in this time requires a very simple approach by capturing images of the ordinary every day. This was taken after my eldest son cut his brother’s hair in our veranda. Photography and the power of the still image immortalises the moments to our memory, describing the story of our time in a thousand words what words simply fail to achieve. We would love to see your images or comments about your own hair haircuts experiences/stories and what they have meant to you. 

WEEK 1 - Community & Caring


Week 1 - Theme- Community & Caring  (w/c 6th July)

'Acts of Kindness'

At the early stages in the new world of lockdown from March 20th, the one thing we were allowed to do was get some exercise outdoors once a day near our homes. I therefore started a daily routine of walking given the sunshine we were having in the spring time. I was glad for a couple of things during my walks, firstly the positive mental health impact of just walking out your house on a sunny day and the other being the willingness of others to share their used things with others be it books and board games, dvds with others outside their homes. I could only take simple images like this tell a story about our time in lockdown and how community and caring is demonstrated when we reach out to others in the ways that we were able to. This image taken on my mobile phone. Do you have images and comments/stories about the way people have shown their kindness under our theme of Community & Caring please upload and comment your thoughts stories here on our facebook page:-