Guild Hall — an East Hampton museum, theater and education space, which serves as a gathering place for community appreciation of the arts — is currently highlighting A Small Taste of Freedom. This exhibition was created by Lindsay Morris, freelance photographer and photo editor of Edible Magazine. A Small Taste of Freedom encompasses portraits and audio interviews of Guild Hall Teen Arts Council (GHTAC) members conducted while they were living under New York State’s stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Small Taste of Freedom documents the participants’ daily life, coping techniques and means of escape during this unpredictable time in history. Morris’ series focuses on the missed rites of passage – such as the final months of in-person classes, graduation and prom. The initial stages of the series were portraits of high school seniors in their cars, which represented their quest for freedom and autonomy. As the pandemic progressed, the teenagers expressed their hardships, fears and anxieties in response to COVID-19.
“I am awake at 8am to the sound of my little brother reciting the pledge. I teach him first then myself,” said Kathleen Berrezueta, GHTAC member. “There are plenty of chores to do since the house is a mess. The ten people living in it are either unemployed or in their closed rooms for distance learning. I realize that home environments are not the same as school environments. I miss a lot of things, and never knowing what to expect the next day. Now I wake up in pajamas and go to sleep in pajamas.”
The portraits of these teenagers with their cars, bicycles and skateboards once represented their getaway towards exciting futures and now represent their escape from stressful and crowded home lives. Morris shot all the portraits with Kodak Portra film.
A Small Taste of Freedom will be on view in the Guild Hall lobby gallery from August 21, 2020 to January 3, 2021. To experience the audio portion of the exhibit, patrons must bring a mobile device to scan a QR code and a pair of headphones.
Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, visit www.guildhall.org.