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Johaycock Project Eagles2
CREDIT: Jo Haycock Photography

Through My Childhood Window

A personal photography project by Jo Haycock

Jo Haycock is an RPS South Wales member who lives in Newport. Through My Childhood Window is a personal photographic project.  Jo is a documentary photographer from South Wales who focusses on the relationships between people, the connections they have to the places they live in and what empowers them. She photographs families at home in day-in-the-life experiences and spends time visually recording different community groups. She collaborates with longer-term artists and social documentary projects.

Jo will be talking about her personal project and other community projects she is involved with in an online meeting at 6pm Friday 19 June 2020. Please register for the talk on the link. Free to  register. Everyone welcome.

Through My Childhood Window is a personal photographic project, a visual journal to explore my feelings and memories of each room in my parents’ house, as I continue to deliver their groceries while they self-isolate during this Covid-19 pandemic. I am photographing them in a room at a time, recollecting stories and sharing what these rooms mean to me. It was my childhood home and it’s a home we’ve all continued to return and regroup to over the years, for any and every family occasion. 

As a documentary photographer, I am lucky to spend quite a lot of my time recording the stories, both visually and aurally, of families and various communities.

When the Government announced that the UK was to enter into a lockdown, I had to stand still. It was then I got to turn my camera to my own family. I spent the early weeks recording the the overnight transition of our home into a classroom, bike repair shop and dance studio. Camera at my side, like another set of eyes just wanting to make sense of every surreal-yet-normal moment.

Then one day I was delivering my parents’ weekly food shopping, my 13-year-daughter came with me to see them. After blowing kisses to each other from the driveway, she became emotional on our journey home… “I just need to hug them, when am I allowed to hug them?” she asked. 

Her grandparents, my parents are still living in the home I was brought up in with my sister. The stories of those years have never been as clear to me as they are right now. It was then I realised I needed a more focussed and creative outlet to journal these feelings and memories. A more structured way of expressing some of the emotion we’ve all been feeling at this time. It was also important that it could be something that that my parents consciously contributed to. They look forward to this, as part of my visits, and have some decision in how we create the scene between us.  

Seeing a part of me in the reflections of the window glass is, of course, deliberate. As I want to connect myself from the outside into that room where I cannot current go into as I normally would do. The sometimes-glimpses of trees or cars just give added context to life continuing on the other side throughout this time. It’s been a much-needed distraction to plan how I’ll get to cover the upstairs rooms. Bringing about colourful reminders of my teenager antics. Like escaping through my bedroom window when grounded for something awful that I’d said or done! The logistics of getting up there is a task my retired-civil engineer father quite enjoys. While my mother makes sure the designated rooms are ‘show home’ ready. 

For me, I feel incredibly lucky to not only have them safe and well, but that they are game to be part of this personal project. It’s become more than a gift of our stories being recalled in an unprecedented and historical time, it’s an emotively visual journal for our own family album.

I had a tricky time during my secondary school days, but that’s a whole new photo project for one distant day. But to relate it to this, I remember hoarding crisps, chocolate and a flask of tea among the spiders and gardening tools late one school night.
Walking to the bus top the next morning, meeting my best friend, turning around and sneaking down the side of the house with her and into the sacred building that is my father’s shed. We even had a radio with the top 40 pop music charts repeating all our fave tunes. With a clear view to the kitchen window, and remembering to turn the volume down when mum came out to hang the washing.
I don’t want to up the comedy factor too much, of what was a pretty difficult time in my school-life back then, but I do chuckle at the memory of this, and my parents now sighing with resignation and groaning with a “I really don’t want to hear anymore about this” attitude! 

Through My Childhood Window is a reactive personal photographic project to record my parents in every room of their house, through the window of my childhood home. A room at a time, each time I deliver their food shop during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Thank you for sharing your story. This time has really enabled us to stop, think and reminisce. C.
@kensingtonroyal It really has. There is so much community goodness out there and this time has given space for it to show and grow more... I’m beyond happy that you’ve taken the time to comment and see into my corner of the world. Thank you. Jo

All images copyright Jo Haycock Photography

Website :

Instagram: @johaycockphotography

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