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Beyond the Frame: Tatenda Chidora

By World Photography Organisation | 2 months 1 week ago

Confined to our homes for the majority of last year, many people around the world turned to creativity for solace. Feeling the clinical blue of surgical gloves was a prominent colour throughout 2020, frustrated photographer Tatenda Chidora from Zimbabawe used this PPE to comment on the impact the pandemic was having on some people's mental health, as well as the litter he saw in his local area. He tells us more about the thinking behind his shot If Covid was a colour.

I’d taken some time to plan the shoot, sketch out my ideas and source the gloves - there are 100 inflated surgical gloves used in this portrait. 

This image was taken in October 2020 in my apartment. The shot is inspired by the times we live in and how much PPE kit - such as masks and gloves – I saw littered around my neighbourhood. Rather than documenting what I saw, I wanted to approach the situation through a fine art aesthetic. My hope is that my photograph (that I titled If Covid was a colour) will help to describe how the world has been living these past 14 months. 

I’d taken some time to plan the shoot, sketch out my ideas and source the gloves - there are 100 inflated surgical gloves used in this portrait. Once I inflated all of the gloves I attached them together to make an unusual structure. Positioning them all to make an interesting shape was a bit tricky. This was definitely the most time consuming part of the shoot. Using a 50mm lens I worked with the natural mid morning light that was bouncing inside the room in my apartment. It’s the tonal values in this image that appeal to me. 

I prefer to mostly work alone when I’m doing personal work. The model is a mate of mine so we have a long standing friendship helping the atmosphere to be generally calm and contained.

I’ll be including this image in a solo exhibition I have coming later this year. I’ve shared the image on social media and in another previous exhibition. People have embraced the image really well and the edition was well sought after.

I heard about the Sony World Photography Awards through a friend of mine, who won a prestigious prize in the 2019 edition. I decided to challenge myself to create new work to submit before 2020 ended. I really appreciate the fact that the judging panel has a vast, unlimited eye.  

Follow Tatenda Chidora's Instagram here