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Pandemic Portraits by Nathan McGill

Distinct experiences of COVID-19 are shared in Nathan McGill’s Pandemic Portraits.

Musurut portrait by Nathan McGill, from Pandemic Portraits
Musurut © Nathan McGill

Pandemic Portraits, a new project by Nathan McGill, captures the social implications of COVID-19 on individuals across Birmingham.

The collaborative visual storytelling project is a testimony to the participants’ lives.

It also serves as a record of life during a pandemic.

Deborah stands in woodland as part of Nathan McGill's Pandemic Portrait series
Deborah © Nathan McGill

Pandemic Portraits

The work began by bringing together Birmingham residents to talk about their lockdown experiences.

To further ensure collaboration, each participant chose a significant location for their portrait.

“As a visual artist I felt an urgency to produce a body of work that reflects upon the current climate through collaborative means,” said McGill.

“Collaborative portraiture was the method I adopted to certify the participants’ agency was met.

“The intention wasn’t to produce images from my perspective, but instead co-author a body of work that narrated the experiences of a wider selection of society.

“I set out to source participants from a variety of backgrounds and communities to share their distinct experiences of the pandemic – and reflect on the good, the bad and the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Mohini stands on a bridge for her Pandemic Portraits image
Mohini © Nathan McGill

About Nathan McGill

Nathan McGill is an emerging visual artist, writer and curator based in the United Kingdom.

He utilises photography to produce socially-engaged projects exploring the interrelationship between people and place.

Inspired by identity politics, migration, urbanisation, anthropology, collaboration and memory, McGill also highlights these themes in his work.

He favours analogue processes due to their transcendence of time and space and connection to the founders of photography.

Irrespective of his practice, McGill is an avid researcher into the parallels between photography and colonisation.

“Empathy and empowerment are essential to the production of any socially-engaged photography project,” says McGill.

“It is fundamental that the experiences of participants are not exploited, glorified or used in a manner that degrades them.

“The pandemic has been an experience we can all relate to and hopefully my work encourages an empathic understanding to those most impacted.”

For more information visit

See more of McGill’s work at