Our Diary

Our Diary

Andy CampbellVisual Arts


A documentary photography project uniting early career photographers from across the Wakefield District.

During the first Covid-19 Lockdown, Emily Ryalls planned to bring together 10 Wakefield based creatives; working to celebrate free and assessable print, self-publishing and photography at a time when most of us were connected only via screens.

The photographs created over the 7-week period featured a range of different experiences, from disco balls discarded into skips outside nightclubs, home workout spaces, loved ones through glass windows and sometimes just the small moments in our lives. These photographs were created, discussed and then selected to be part of a 56-page zine entitled: ‘this too shall pass’.

500 limited editions were published, free for residents across Wakefield, and available during the winter months of 2020 from the Merrie Studios at The Ridings shopping centre. Alongside this, the Merrie Collective curated two pop-up exhibitions, one within their studio to celebrate the launch, and a second entitled ‘Unit 43’ which was on show in October 2020.

The Our Diary project acted as a catalyst for building a photography network and creating something much bigger that just a final product. The project has provided Wakefield with a visual record of how we as a district coped during this time. As a result of the project, the 10 Wakefield creatives have now joined together to form The Merrie Collective.

Our Diary has been featured in The Yorkshire Post, Wakefield Express and on BBC Radio Leeds.

Visit the project’s Instagram page @OurDiaryProject to see photography produced during Lockdown 1.0, as well as documentation of the ‘Unit 43’ Exhibition at The Ridings shopping centre.


Our Diary