Over the rainbow at the Somerset Museum

SOMERSET photographer Jason Bryant’s new exhibition of photographs from the lockdown should have been at the Museum of Somerset, but is available online instead.

Reaching for Rainbows: the Lockdown Photography of Jason Bryant, on view at swheritage.org.uk, documents an extraordinary time in the history of Somerset.

The collection of 60 images chronicles the experiences of individuals and communities as they respond to the challenge of Covid-19 and being in lockdown. Photographs include rainbows, people expressing their thanks to key workers, families reuniting and rediscovering their local environment, and the new normal of face masks and hand sanitiser.

Alongside the exhibition the South West Heritage Trust is creating a community archive to record the stories of local people and places. The trust is seeking contributions across a range of topics including key workers, the economy, food, nature and community. Contributions to the community archive can be submitted using a simple form on the trust’s website.

Jason, who is based in Shepton Mallett, has been working as a press photographer nationally for more than 20 years, including photographing the Glastonbury Festival since 1997. He began his career as a photographer for Mid Somerset Newspapers and his photographs are regularly featured in newspapers including The Guardian and The Times.

Pictured: 22nd June: Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid Stage stands empty on a peaceful Worthy Farm. This photograph was taken a day before what should have been the opening of the festival’s 50th anniversary season, when 200,000 ticket holders, artists, staff and volunteers were due to attend.

20th June: Summer solstice celebrations, Glastonbury Tor where hundreds gathered to celebrate the arrival of the summer solstice. The National Trust and the local council had requested that people stay away because of the ban on mass gatherings.

7th April: Tabitha Martin at Shepton Mallet holds her Easter bonnet decorated with the Tor and a rainbow,  a symbol of hope and an expression of gratitude to key workers.