In The Frame: Tobi Isaac – Quarantined

Posted 11 months ago in Arts & Culture Features

ALCFC-22 – Desktop
BIMM aug-22 – Desktop


Tobi Isaac



“I took this photo early on in the lockdown. Back when TikTok decided every other social media platform was obsolete. Back when I had to wrestle that old lady for that roll of toilet paper…jk lol. Back when we thought the lockdown would be over by the summer… I find this particularly funny as I can be quite naïve but for once, I wasn’t alone in not knowing wtf was going on and how long it was going to go on for.

This photo embodies that time period for me, the confusion, obscurity, nervousness… the inescapable feeling of being trapped. Up until this point, I was on the edge of a decision that was set to change the course of my life. Despite the profoundness of that decision, looking back, I was relatively fearless in my commitment to follow through with it – partly (or mostly) fuelled by my youthful naivety and lust for adventure. I was eager to go out into the world and see what I could make of myself and where the skills God had blessed me with would take me.

You can probably already tell where this is going but I never got to make that decision. Despite my never-ending optimism, every day in quarantine was a reminder of time running out and that fostered a depressing feeling of being trapped within me. Up until this point, my life had pretty much been on-track, according to a plan I’d roughly sketched out in my head in the Senior Sophister Chemistry. I was good at saying what I would do and doing what I’d say I’d do. Now I’m not so perfect – just like every photo in each frame of that “Kodak Portra 400 @olutobii” film haha. Not so perfect, but good enough to get the message across.

I guess that’s alright for me. I mean, what choice do I have. It’s up to me to make the most of my life regardless of my circumstances and that’s all I pray I’m capable of doing, truly. The last two years have been quite the adventure in of themselves, lockdown changed me in ways I find myself discovering everyday, but I’m trying looking forward. Right now, it’s about working on v2.0 of my original plan or at least getting another rough sketch of it together.”

Tobi features in All Kinds, an art-book & online exhibition of over 100 artists’ work made during quarantine. All profits from book sales go to support the work of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI)



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