Over lockdown, Woolley has been producing a series of photographic self portraits wearing facemasks composed of delicate and ephemeral natural materials. These have been collected from her daily walks, where she has been homing in on her immediate surroundings, paying close attention to the plant life as it comes in and out of season.
The materials chosen are collected with a sense of purpose. Forget Me Nots are a symbol of remembrance; A colourful rainbow meadow represents the amazing work of the NHS during the pandemic; Buttercups have a folkloric connection with being held to the face; Clover leaves are thought to be lucky; Chives and onions are a natural cold and flu remedy; Dandelion clocks delicately resemble the invisible nature of things spreading; Oak leaves for Woolley represent home and being home; Chamomile flowers and lavender bring a sense of calm in these uncertain times; while pieces of earth give a sense of grounding.
The natural world provides a lot of our medicines and remedies yet these are far removed from a clinical setting, juxtaposed with a surgical mask; a sight with which we are all so familiar with in the current climate. The plants act as a natural filter; they give us oxygen so that we can breathe through them; they give us life. The masks also aim to question whether the spread of the virus is nature's way of retaliating and teaching us to care for our environment more, to slow down and pay attention to the world.