"The Make it Happen Grants are all about helping people reconnect to each other and that is exactly what this exhibition does. Learning how our friends and neighbours spent the lockdowns of 2020 helps us process our own experiences and will hopefully help us feel less isolated in the event of future lockdowns," said Mayor Jonathon Marsden.
"Throughout this pandemic we've heard so many heart-warming stories of residents making an effort to connect to each other whilst staying physically apart. This exhibition is a perfect demonstration of the resilience and generosity which helped – and will continue to help – our community thrive through times of adversity," he adds.
"Like so many others, I felt more isolated than I'd ever felt before. I needed connection, and taking these photographs was a way to reach into our community and bring people together," says photographer Jude van Daalen, who started documenting life in isolation in Melbourne's first lockdown, in March 2020.
"These stories create a time capsule of this extraordinary period in our lives," says journalist Belinda Jackson. "Told to us in the midst of the pandemic, they are raw and emotional, without the colouring of hindsight."
Belinda Jackson and Jude van Daalen will give a free author's talk at Williamstown Library on Tuesday 3 August, 6.30pm to 7.30pm.
For more information on the project and book, visit www.lockdownstories.com.au
Meet the authors: Photographer Jude van Daalen and editor Belinda Jackson join us to talk about capturing Melbourne's lockdown in 'Together Apart: Life in Lockdown'