Andrew Rovenko’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia, is possibly the world's most locked down city, with over 260 days spent under 'stay at home' orders during the covid crisis. Allowed two hours of precious outdoor exercise time per day, but with all playgrounds closed Rovenko needed to invent something to keep his 4-year old daughter Mia's curious mind occupied and give her some new experiences within the 5km allowed travel restriction radius. This is how the idea of 'space explorations' was born.
Like many children, asking questions about everything in the world is one of Mia's favourite activities and space is a favourite topic. The theme of Rovenko’s project played to Mia's natural interest and was an easy win. Rovenko’s wife made the space suit and the papier-mâché helmet. The family would pick a destination that let the imagination run wild, even just empty blocks of land overgrown with weeds.
The Rocketgirl Chronicles show us that new experiences and stories last way longer than any toy, but Rovenko never knew when Mia might grow out of it and which space expedition would be their last - making every one of them special. The series invites us to take a break and reflect.
"With these photographs documenting the time we were given to spend together - in one way they are our family memories from exploring the little world around us. But equally, those memories were made in a very strange time in the big world, so they do go hand in hand. And even though the lockdown served as a trigger for our creativity, these images are not lockdown chronicles in my mind, but rather a reflection of time when we were made to look closely and find beauty in everyday things." – Andrew Rovenko.
Other blogs in this series: