Photography exhibition reveals strength in being ‘Alone, Together’

By Our Reporter
Category winner - Youth - Aayush Chitnis - The faces of quarantine // Pic supplied

A fascinating new photography exhibition revealing ordinary people’s shared experience of the COVID pandemic has gone on show free to the public in Hornsby, in Sydney’s northern suburbs (8-29 December 2022); the outcome of a series of multigenerational photography workshops and a competition.

Toward the end of this year, Hornsby Shire Council invited local residents to convey their experiences of the pandemic in pictures by entering the ‘Alone, Together’ Photography Competition.

The ‘Alone, Together’ photography project aimed to bring people together to connect with each other and the wider local community.

“The idea was to create an exhibition, both physical and online, that reflected the mood of the people of Hornsby Shire during this time,” said Hornsby Shire Mayor, Philip Ruddock. “We were astonished by the strength and quality of the response.”

Overall winner – Lena Zatsarevnaya -Alone together // Pic supplied

“The competition was open to residents of any age. Over 180 local photographers submitted images that answered the question, ‘What does the COVID pandemic mean to me?’.

Themes were revealed included the importance of pets, the value of community, of family and friends, an appreciation of the bush and outdoor lifestyles, the surprising beauty of empty urban landscapes, COVID-related pollution, of personal grooming at home, and the challenges of home-schooling.

“The ‘Alone, Together’ exhibition, showcasing the 18 winning entries, is now on display near the Berkelouw Hornsby bookstore on the Link Bridge connecting the two sides of Westfield Hornsby.”

Highly Commended – Adult – Gaanesh Prasad – Stay safe stay home // Pic supplied

The overall winner of the competition was Lena Zatsarevnaya with her poignant monochrome image of her young son and his pet cattle dog Bjorn, looking crestfallen while confined behind the glass pane of a locked door.

All category winners’ and finalists’ works can be viewed online at Hornsby Shire Council’s website. Just search ‘Alone Together Finalist’ or go to

“Council would like to thank all the participants of the ‘Alone, Together’ photography project for sharing their stories of the pandemic,” said Mr Ruddock. “I’m sure everyone viewing the images will be able to relate to something and someone in this beautiful exhibition.”

Hornsby Shire Council would like to acknowledge the support given to the ‘Alone, Together’ by local youth support organisations KYDS, Headspace Castle Hill, Streetwork, and Mission Australia Hornsby; along with the Head On Photo Festival and Westfield Hornsby.

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