Lockdown Soap Bubbles Studies is a collection of works born out of the 2020 pandemic, and part of the wider Soap Bubbles Studies photography series which depicts soap bubbles floating in front of uninhabited natural landscapes. In place of the natural settings characteristics of the original images, Plank uses a photography backdrop of kitsch landscapes set up in her own backyard.
Started as a direct response to the travel restrictions imposed by Covid-19, the backdrop element of Lockdown offers a humorous twist on the impersonal photos of palm trees and idyllic beaches, for instance prevalent as floor-to-ceiling wallpaper in the 70s and 80s. The resulting photographs don’t disguise the use of a backdrop; the highly saturated colours hint at an artificial perfection, while the creases from the stretched out backdrop are kept visible in the final image.
In Lockdown Soap Bubbles Studies, Plank plays with the juxtaposition of a fleeting soap bubble, reminiscent of childhood and about to burst at any second, with an intemporal background that remains forever unchanged and perfect. The contrast between the floating suds and the immobile palm fronds invites contemplation and hints at a fragile transience — perhaps a commentary on the 2020 global experience of keeping things on hold, or an echo of the impermanence of life on earth.