Garry Cook - Proud Preston People
Garry Cook is a writer and photographer.
His documentary photography work has covered diverse social-issues projects on subjects ranging from religion and people at leisure to how we judge others and the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Much of his work explores the relationship between words and images, and the different ways photography can be presented as an art-form.
His practice, which includes cross-platform projects using music, film, poetry, spoken word and performance, aims to produce projects which are thought-provoking, engaging and easily understood.
"I'm a born and bred Prestonian. I went to Winkley Square Convent School. I'm a big Preston North End (PNE) fan. My dad and brother Tom and Mark Lawrenson both played for PNE".
"I am a Lancashire lass, Preston born. I love Preston and what I am shown so often is Preston loves me too. Preston got soul. Proud Preston!"
"Before lockdown, sticking to my schedule was priority. But I'd never allotted time to 'learn something new about Dad' or 'try writing a poem'. I'm grateful that lockdown messed up that schedule".
"Business is very difficult, but a new appreciation of nature in our garden has brightened our lives. So it's not been all bad, and I'm not lonely".
"I feel like I'm living in one of the moments I used to read about in school history classes. It's a little bizarre, as well as disappointing how little we learned".
"This is the second biggest failure of government ever but shows it is possible to deal with the biggest if the will exists".
"Gorgeous clear sunny days undermined by a lava tube of uncertainty".
"Lockdown. It's like grief. Selfishly, I want to return to the best bits of my life, before the world spun off its axis.
It's a breathtaking punch to the guts every time I think about the warmth of familiar faces, reduced to a picture in a digital frame. There but not there. So sometimes I run, lucky enough to run by rivers, fields and flowers. It's a little bit like running away but each time I return home, I am at least a little stronger".
"Lockdown for me is a life where the weeks don't have ends".
"I've taken up jogging to get exercise then stay home all day so I'm missing my grandchildren and social contact. As a birder I'm desperate to get to a nature reserve but still won't leave home. Very uncertain and scary days".
"My time spent under lockdown has been split between my home in Preston and the haematology unit at Blackpool Victoria hospital.
Undergoing so much treatment for my Aplastic Anaemia means when I am home I'm resting waiting to go back to have blood transfusions. Despite lockdown being restrictive and hard I've been able to see NHS staff working first hand. They are a credit to the system and really have been risking their lives, and also have been saving mine".
"I am Latvian living since 2001 in UK and for last eight years in Preston. I love the place, the community of creative people here. I run Just Write group and take part as much as I can in creative activities".
"As uncertain as things get, life is like a bridge - we stand the test of time, we're strong, we're supportive and we help those closest to us over to the other side".
"Lockdown has been about being positive and hopeful. I have thoroughly enjoyed going out for one exercise a day.
It gave me the opportunity to do outdoor running, something I contemplated but would not have had the chance to do. Running through Moor Park has been such an uplifting experience.
The cherry blossom framing a beautiful park that was once just a thought. The sun shining on my face, charging my mind, the simplicity of mother nature reminding me to just pause and breathe. Remaining hopeful for a vaccine for Covid-19. A virus that has come with pain and gain".
"Though I'm not born and bred Preston, this city took in various of my relatives over the last 100 years. No fuss and feathers but Preston's message 'there's room for everyone' is definitely one Preston can take pride in and I'm grateful for the welcome given my relatives".
"We live such hectic lives. Lockdown has forced us to stop and reflect, maybe for the first time in years. That's something positive we can take from this at least".
"Welcoming our daughter in lockdown has been a humbling experience. With plenty of family time to bond, we have had many highs and created amazing memories, but we have still had low times. Unable to introduce our new family member properly to family and friends has been hard. In lockdown 2020 our hearts got bigger".
"I lost my wife on the first day of lockdown. It was a huge shock as she had always been so fit and healthy. It was our 60th wedding anniversary that weekend and we should have been having a big family celebration... but she died on the Monday morning".
"During this surreal time I've had to work from home with 2 children in tow. Never did I imagine how hard it would be to try and keep ticking over in a 'normal' manner.
It's been such a challenging time for us all and I'm trying to hang on to the moments that I'll treasure from this with my children. We miss our friends so much, I crave normality whatever that will eventually look like".
"It's been a strange time. I've actually enjoyed being at home with my family as it's helped me reflect on how much time I used to spend at work or doing other things. It's also given me a great chance to reflect on my emotional and mental health and some difficult experiences growing up, which in all honesty I'd been keeping a lid on.
In recent weeks I've started missing my friends and I still haven't really had the chance to go anywhere or do anything, apart from some long walks to help me keep the weight off! One thing I have learnt is that I make a terrible teacher and hopefully our son won't hold it against me in years to come!"
"Lockdown has been an emotional rollercoaster. I'm off with a work related injury. I feel like I'm letting my team down but I have had three mths extra with my beautiful one-year-old daughter Holly May Grisdale".
Revd Canon Alistair McHaffie
"For church, lockdown has meant broadcasting services on Zoom. This has resulted in renewed contact with people who are unable to come to our church buildings due to mobility, age and illness issues. Lockdown has meant uncut hair and less than daily shaves which I hope aren't too obvious in my photo".
"Life in lockdown has been about reflecting on life and about valuing and appreciating family and friends. It's been about working together with all the community as one big family to help others. Real community spirit and good will".
"My lockdown experience was how powerful nature is and that the world is just a more chilled out place".
"Preston has been the centre of all I've done. Preston in lockdown has had its challenges but I've kept it positive".
"It's been one big oxymoron".