Portraying the Artist Staying at Home

Story collected by Will McGuirk, website: slowcity.ca

With no live shows on, performance photographer Mirjana Simeunovich, (aka Mikki) wondered what musicians were doing with this off time. The Oshawa resident asked around and the results became a web series and ultimately an art exhibition at the Station Gallery.

“I was out shooting in Roatan, Honduras, when Covid-19 hit. I was stuck in the house for 3 weeks when I came back to Canada. I then got Covid and my husband and I had to do another 4 weeks after that. We then flew to BC and were Isolated for another 6 weeks with a friend who was ill.

“We also drove back across Canada. I would say that in total I spent almost 7 months isolated to some degree over 2020. I used that time to work on my archive and to submit to websites.”

“All live shows were cancelled and any photo shoots I had set up were cancelled. I was a bit lost for a couple of weeks. I started the Play Grounded project. I was wondering if I could not shoot live music, what are musicians doing during this time? So when it was possible, I would photograph musicians on what they are doing when not playing. It was very cool and gave me something to look forward to each month. And Play Grounded turned into an art exhibit at the Station Gallery over the summer of 2021.

“It renewed my love for shooting portraits again. I have always shot live music but I started my career as a portrait photographer. I am enjoying doing that again. I work as a photographer full time now and have done quite a few portraits, promo shots, and a wedding recently and I am enjoying the diversity in my work now. I have gone back to shooting live music because that is my drug LOL, but now I am doing more of what I love.”

“I discovered I am truly a people person. I miss seeing friends and hanging out at coffee shops, and I am working on rebuilding relationships with people. Before covid I was always working or shooting, now I like spending time getting to know my friends again”

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