on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

When Time, and Trees, Stood Still

Constrained, deprived of work, limited to local movement

Joe Cornish

Joe Cornish

Professional landscape photographer.


On March 23rd last year I was due to hang an exhibition at the National Trust visitor centre, Brimham Rocks, in Nidderdale. On Sunday 22nd we digested the news of impending lockdown; I could scarcely believe that if I was to obey the letter of the law, I must cancel the whole enterprise. The exhibition was to be the fulfilment of my most personal creative work during the previous year.

My National Trust colleagues were expecting me and framer Andy Richardson of Wensleydale Galleries at 7.30am, on Monday the 23rd March.

Having slept on it I rose at 5.30 am on the 23rd, and called Andy at 6.15 am. He was already packing his van. I cancelled the whole endeavour; there was really no other choice.

A three month postponement was my assumption at the time… how wrong can you get? Now, with luck, I hope it might happen this summer, 2021. But so many dates, workshops, talks, tours have been postponed so many times, I’ll believe it’s going to happen only when I see the pictures hanging on the wall.

And so began the Year when Time itself – it seemed – stood still.

Constrained, deprived of work, limited to local movement… creatively-speaking it has been the strangest of all blessings-in-disguise.

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