Aaron Yeandle

PPE or Personal Protective Equipment is specialist equipment health workers wear to protect themselves from viruses such as COVID-19. Images of medical staff in hazmat suits inundated the media, making many of us feel anxious. While being in lockdown there was a global face mask shortage due to a need by health services and people outside of the medical profession. Humans have been wearing masks for a millennium, they are truly ingrained in our primal psyche and are deeply rooted in folklore. Masks rituals occur throughout the world and seem to share numerous characteristics. During the bubonic plague epidemic that swept through Europe. Plague doctors who treated the infected wore Personal Protective Equipment to protect them from infections. This menacing suit typically consisted of animal-like masks and was filled with dried scented flowers. This work delves into the past and the present of PPE masks from the bubonic plague costumes to the modern-day hazmat masks. This work was produced in lockdown and were all created in my flat.

Artist biography

Aaron was the winner of The Guardian's 'Britain iS' competition and has previously completed 4 art residencies. He works mainly on long term social projects. He exhibited at the Guernsey Photographic Festival. As well as showing in solo and group exhibitions, such as the Reclaim Award in Germany, his work has been shown with various bodies and publications. During the lockdown he created work about COVID- 19, which has been well received. Parts of this project have been shown with the New Zealand photography festival in conjunction with Format. Also, in Italy with Creativi in Quarantena as well as bodies in the US, Australia and Europe.