Mitchell Moreno

In this short series Moreno queers common motifs of the Covid-19 pandemic as a means to consider mental health under lockdown.

Navigating a space between autobiography and performance, the experiences shown in the photographs – Zooming, stockpiling, taking up a hobby, etc – are the artist's lived experiences; and the person we see is them; but all is processed and filtered through a heightened and distorted lens. This relates to Freud's idea of the 'half mask' worn by the true-self as a defence response to present threat.

The project was powered by anxiety, and its aesthetic language reflects this. Luxury goods advertising - which trades in desire and its corollary, anxiety – is a formal reference, juxtaposing exuberant colour and texture with an uneasy subject matter, and highlighting the absurd inadequacy of consumer capitalism in this time of crisis.

By turns playful and unsettling, the series reflects on broader themes raised by lockdown: fear, longing, food, superstition, mental health, and the human need to connect.

Artist biography

Mitchell Moreno grew up in Leicester and studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music. They then worked for a decade in theatre, opera and circus as a performer and director, before shifting their practice to photography from 2017.

Their work explores the construction of gender, the queer gaze, and the psychotherapeutic scope of the creative process. They support themselves by working as a builder and decorator.