Masked: A Portrait of Lockdown


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A special signed limited edition set of 30 plates, in a black A5 presentation box, with a G.F.Smith factory yellow, matrix embossed insert and ebony belly band. This is a limited edition of 50 copies with 2 APs.

After 17 years of self-employed independence as a photographer, COVID 19 led Tristan Poyser to work nights as an Amazon Associate in an Amazon warehouse in North West England. He quickly realised that this was an opportunity to make work in a new environment and he was subsequently commissioned by Historic England.

Masked is a social documentary of the COVID 19 Pandemic. The full project records a typology of 136 masked portraits of Amazon associates from over 25 different nationalities. Some had worked at Amazon for as little as two days, others as long four years. Each was asked to write down two ways they had been affected personally by the Pandemic and by Lockdown. These ranged from missing the gym, to the death of close family members from COVID. The decision to incorporate and document participants' thoughts and feelings gives control of the narrative back to the individual participants and offers a different agenda to that of the media and of politicians, creating a record of people in their own words.

The portraits are accompanied by a series of performative portraits and still life photographs of the 64 face masks and ephemera that Tristan was provided with whilst working at Amazon. These reflect his own doubts, frustrations, and anxieties, as well as his sense of his own change of identity, his the lack of control over lockdown and the decisions he needed to make to support his family.
Born and brought up in Derby, Tristan Poyser now lives in Manchester with his young family. His projects explore how diverse cultural and evolutionary behaviours, and politics, shape the world we live in and the legacy left behind, both as physical and cultural scars. In recent years he has increasingly combined social documentary and public participation to create work about our present time. Tristan lectures on photography at the University of Cumbria. 


This is a new venture to help draw attention to work by a photographer which we feel deserves a larger audience. 

We do not make any profit from any sales. Other than the charge to us for debit and credit card payments, all the income goes to Tristan who will deal with the despatch of the edition. 

Masked is published by Tristan Poyser, and not by Dewi Lewis Publishing.