60 DAYS OF CREATION
Text by Marte Marie Forsberg
A few days after lockdown here in England, we moved into our new home in the English countryside. A lovely little cottage tucked away on a quiet lane, with endless green rolling hills as far as the eye could see. It felt like a refuge from the storm as we watched country after country close its borders and people were told to stay at home. What now, I asked my English gentleman as our work calendar cleared and lockdown became a reality.
Being an author and a photographer, the unknown is nothing new, and dealing with ups and downs in one’s work is something one simply has to get used to, but this was something on a grander scale. A pandemic with enormous consequences for people all over the world. All we could do was to begin unpacking the boxes from the move, and take one day at the time.
One of the first days in our new home I went for a walk in a nearby wood with a basket in hand wanting to bring home to the table the first signs of Spring around our new home. Branches with young green leaves, budding flowers, the flora and fauna in the bucolic countryside around where we live was just coming back to life, and all I could think of was that despite everything going on in the world, nature just kept going, bringing up an abundance of beauty in a time when it felt everything around us was falling apart. I decided to follow its lead.
With every photoshoot and work on hold, I created a project I named #60daysofcreation on Instagram where I wanted to push myself as a photographer and create a photograph every day for 60 days to keep my mind focused, and to connect with the beauty around me in a way that I oftentimes overlook, due to the business of our daily lives. I chose 60 days, simply because it takes time to create a change, and form new habits, and I wanted to learn new skills and to immerse myself in the process.
Every day I would wake up and begin creating a still-life of what I found around me in nature. Come rain, winds or delightful days of sun and warmth, my focus was on creating, growing as a photographer and to challenge myself. I immersed myself in nature, being with my little family, and kept my focus on emerging a better photographer and hopefully a better human being, after the 60 days come to an end.
During times of great uncertainty where we do not know what the future holds, I wanted to regain the smallest amount of control over my life and the direction I was going. I kept reminding myself that we are the ones creating the future we will ultimately live in. We may not be able to control a pandemic, but we can control how we respond to the challenges facing us in the wake of it, no matter how daunting it may feel.
We are the ones creating our future, and I take comfort and feel empowered in knowing that. It may not make facing uncertainty and challenges any easier, but if it can change our mindset and how we respond to it, it may just be able to change the world, one person at the time, and give us all hope in a time when we need it the most.
60 days came and went, but the lessons I learned will stay with me forever.
I rediscovered my love for creating with nature, for capturing what I see more freely, and for sharing my stories both in the form of photography, and the written word. The #60daysofcreation project helped me meet the future in a time of uncertainty, and it was ever so touching to see so many others around the world join in under the same hashtag and commit to change too! After all, we are all in this together.
As I write we may be emerging from lockdown and returning to a new normal, but as we do so, I hope we don’t let fear rob us of our hopes and dreams for the future. What I learnt during my #60daysofcreation outside of challenging myself as a photographer, was to never give up, and to always fight for and believe in a better tomorrow.