January 07, 2022
In December my family and I travelled to Sweden for my first international photography exhibition. I was proud to have images in ‘Ljus på fotograferna’, an exhibition about light and creative practitioners so I travelled from Derbyshire with my wife Claire, along with our two children Riley,12 and Mabel, 10.
We were well looked after by one of the curators, Jan Forsstedt, the exhibition in Borlange was great and after a couple of days we travelled to Stockholm to fly home. Everything went well up to the routine Covid tests 48 hours prior to the return flights to the UK where Claire tested positive, fortunately none of my family members had developed any symptoms.
We quickly followed advice from the Swedish Health Authority and stayed together in our hotel room for the next seven days. During this time, I took to documenting our experience. Mundane moments like the daily breakfast trolley, washing clothes in the bath, playing card games and exploring the local restaurants through Uber Eats were captured and shared online.
It was amazing to connect with friends and family through the photographs online. The hotel even noticed the images and kindly brought the children card games and art supplies (after a comment that Mabel was running out of things to draw on and Riley was about to ‘finish Netflix’).
We were really lucky that we have remained healthy throughout the isolation. We tried our best to not worry about testing positive again but the fear of it resulting in another seven days in the hotel room, over Christmas, was always on our mind.
Thankfully after a week of uncertainty we all received negative test results and were able to travel home on one of the last flights before the 25th December.
Because I had received so many nice comments about my photographs of our enforced stay I got in touch with the picture editor for the BBC. By the time we got settled at home we were on the home page of the BBC News along with a collection of my photographs.
By Richard Tymon