The Webs of Covid-Related Caution Tape Across London

London-based freelance photographer Peter Dench used the 1st number of months of the coronavirus pandemic

London-based freelance photographer Peter Dench used the 1st number of months of the coronavirus pandemic taking pictures now-common scenes: empty supermarket shelves, shuttered storefronts, mask-wearing pedestrians, and fenced-off parks. “They’ve swiftly become cliches,” he suggests of the images he was producing for consumers about the entire world.

But about the 3rd week of April, he started noticing some thing new. Purple-and-white-striped caution tape was all of a sudden everywhere you go in central London—draped across park benches, wrapped about rental bicycles, festooning statuary, and forming makeshift barricades about bus drivers. Usually drawn to bright principal colours, Dench started taking pictures these peppermint-striped cityscapes for Getty Illustrations or photos.

“The plan was to exhibit London in a various way. The common landmarks are all there—red cell phone booths, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square—but now there is this tape everywhere you go.”

At the time, a citywide keep-at-residence order meant Londoners could leave the property only for work out. The caution tape was meant to discourage the use of community amenities like benches or playground machines. “Whatever you required to glance at, and wherever you required to sit, there was tape,” Dench suggests. But he seen that right after a number of times, the tape tended to either vanish or get repurposed by mischievous passersby one particular jokester wrapped caution tape about the lap of a nude woman sculpture. “I got the feeling the community may have been finding a little resourceful with the tape,” he suggests.

Even though American towns have also used caution tape to cordon off work out machines and benches, London well being authorities surface to have been specifically zealous in their taping frenzy many of the tableaus Dench captured resemble is effective of installation artwork. “My mother is involved about what will transpire to all that tape,” Dench suggests. “It doesn’t glance pretty biodegradable.” But for Dench, the tape presented an option to see common landmarks and streets in a new way.

“I essentially did get pretty energized,” he suggests. “It’s adding some thing to these monuments that have been in put for hundreds of decades. They’ve seen it all, but they haven’t seen this.”

Wrapping London in striped tape may perhaps feel like a rather feeble reaction to a pandemic that has currently killed an approximated forty seven,000 British isles citizens. Dench sees it as a information the authorities is sending to Londoners: acquire treatment when going for walks outside the house. “It doesn’t feel like the most strong way to prevent the Brit from having fun with a stroll along the river or through the parks,” he suggests. “You can continue to accessibility all the areas of central London. The tape is just sort of encouraging you to keep on your toes and shift along.”


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