26th August, 2020.
The godfather of architecture, Frank Gehry, notably articulated that creativity is often the result of limitations and constraints. That limitless options and projects that lack boundaries may sound enticing in theory but, in reality, lend to nothing more than yawning metaphorical space and echoing whistles. So, it stands to reason that in these strange strange times a tsunami of artistic endeavour is being gently nurtured to life in homes, ateliers, back sheds and studio’s around the globe.
Liz Sunshine is a Melbourne based photographer accustomed to being out in the throng of humanity. With clients like, Fendi, Vogue and the NGV, her work covers everything from personal style to comprehensive content creation across multi-faceted brand campaigns and stands as a fascinating documentation of the zeitgeist. Since COVID-19 has forced us all into lockdown, Liz has found herself smack in the middle of the reflective analysis of both her profession and her personal relevance as a creative.
“This time has made me realise that, when you get to a place where you are seen as successful in a traditional sense, you are constantly working to fulfil clients briefs, to realise images for someone else. While we are stuck at home, separated from the usual routine, I have found the time and space to focus on what is important for my career instead.”
During lockdown 1.0, Liz suddenly had the time to work on creating a proper home workspace. Something that, though of significant value to her vocation, had never had the opportunity to be facilitated due to the sheer momentum of her engagements. Lockdown 2.0 has allowed the time and space for its realisation which has led to a honing of her craft she hasn’t indulged for a very very long time.
The constraints of working from home have, for Liz and many other creatives, led to a resurgence of inspiration and passion for their work. Suddenly, the manifestation of a brief has become about “what is achievable in the space with what I have at hand.” Ordinary objects become explorations of light. The specific combinations of products become a fascinating narrative. A tableau comes to express much more than a simple branded moment. “I spend my time at the moment experimenting. Challenging myself visually and mentally. Not just filling time creating commercial imagery that is of minimal value to my personal story.”
Ultimately, COVID-19 has meant a professional reprieve for Liz. The commissions she is facilitating are fewer, leaving time to mull over her journey up until now.
“If i’d never shot the ‘big’ campaign then I wouldn’t now realise how much I enjoy the simplicity of working from home, on my own, with just the subject in front of me.”
Words | Tiffany Jade
Images | Liz Sunshine