While There's Space Between Us

Art, Photography Free
A montage of some of the polaroid portraits on show in Jasmin Simmons' exhibition While There’s Space Between Us
Photograph: Supplied Jasmin Simmons captured polaroids of 100 out-of-work creatives for While There’s Space Between Us

Time Out says

One hundred creative faces tell the story of a city in lockdown

Sydney photographer and actor Jasmin Simmons was devastated when galleries and theatres alike shut down at short notice earlier this year, when lockdown set in. Having so many of her friends and colleagues suddenly out of work at the same time was demoralising. From directors to designers, opera singers to propmakers, dancers to stage managers, they were all in it together.

“Working in and being surrounded by people in the creative industry, I experienced first-hand what this abrupt ambiguity had on our emotional and cognitive health,” she recalls. “Dealing with isolation, the loss of purpose and the uncertainty of the future is terrifying.”

In those early days of discombobulation, Simmons did what she knew best – grabbed her camera and started taking snaps to make sense of it all. Over nine days she captured candid film portraits and polaroids of 100 of her creative pals caught in limbo, interviewing them about their thoughts and fears, then she self-isolated too. With a wealth of time on her hands, Simmons began to sift through what she had captured, pulling these words and pictures into what has become new exhibition While There’s Space Between Us.

It started off as an Instagram sensation, as Simmons shared one shot a day online, and now the collection moves into the real world at Gaffa Gallery in the heart of the city. The exhibition runs from October 1-12, and the portraits contained within offer a glimpse of hope, resilience and solidarity in tough times. “At my most alone, it was these 100 people that provided me company,” Simmons says. “Some solace, a sense of belonging and a safe place.”

And she wasn’t alone, as comments lit up her Instagram account. “People were reaching out to tell me how the series was helping them feel less alone during isolation, that it made them feel connected to something and someone,” Simmons says. “The project has grown to become extremely special to me and has had an impact larger than I ever anticipated.”

You can find out more about the show here, and head into Gaffa to see the Polaroids up close and personal.

Spot famous faces captured by artists. Head along to the Archibald exhibition.

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