Day 210: Connection Through Collaboration

Connection is one of the most vital parts of life, we cannot survive without the beautiful connections we gain when interacting with others. Without them, anything and everything we do is quite pointless. Our friends help us through difficult situations, laugh with us until tears slip from our eyes, and back us up when we’re not sure of ourselves.

There was a time in our lives where we probably took the beautiful connections we had for granted, we lived each day hardly ever aware that they were there. Some of the most important people to us, never quite became a priority compared to our jobs and busy schedules. That is, until we were thrust into isolation.

The coronavirus spread across the globe and we stepped away from our normal lives into a rather strange situation where we’ve spent days upon days at home. Isolation engulfed us without warning and the connections we used to have suddenly become hard to access and ten times more important than before.

It’s so interesting to see how quickly our perspectives shift when we are put through unexpected and difficult situations. Priorities suddenly become trivial in comparison to things that have now become a huge priority. Connection is something most of us took for granted and now that we cannot easily reach it, we miss being able to hug friends, see people on the streets, strike up a conversation with a stranger, etc. Isolation has made us all realize how vital it is to connect with others.

I have a feeling when we come out of this, we’ll never take connection for granted again.

Not long ago, I was thinking about how I could create connection through art during this period of isolation when I come up with an idea. Collaboration has always been something I’ve wanted to try in my photography and what a perfect time to explore that side of art when we’re all so isolated.

When we collaborate with others we’re putting our creativity together in order to create something beautiful. We create a string of connection when we join with others in order to make art that resonates with others. And that is exactly what I wanted to try when I reached out to two of my favorite photographer friends, Fiona Hsu and Bradley Branson.

Once I had pitched my idea of collaboration to them, they instantly jumped on board and we agreed to each create an image around the theme of isolation. The above images are what we created with that idea in mind. From there came the part about collaboration. We exchanged our basic composited images and then proceeded to edit the other’s images in our own way.

It was such a cool experience to see someone else’s world in such an up close way and then build upon it. I’ve never tried edited another person’s image before and it was so cool to basically see how their minds work when creating and how they ended up putting things together. It was a really fun experience that resulted in the images you see below.

In the top row you have my image, the middle row is Bradley’s image, and the bottom row is Fiona’s image. The left hand row are all three images edited by me, the middle row are all three images edited by Bradley, and the right hand row are all three images edited by Fiona.

In this time of isolation, the three of us were able to create a string of connection. I hope we have inspired you to seek connection in your own period of isolation because it is truly a gift. Everything is worthless unless we have someone to share it with. During this time I would encourage you to focus on your relationships with others and especially once this is all over. Connection will never again be the same, and I am so looking forward to it.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

Boxed in without an escape, the clouds swirl together and become so dense they almost seem suffocating. The stiff air collects within the stand still and isolation pulls closer than ever before. 

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