ART has been framed as essential healthcare in a pioneering project to combat loneliness as a result of the pandemic.

The new exhibition of work by people with long-term health conditions is a result of the innovative partnership between a museum and a healthcare trust.

The Art Fund-supported project worked with 10 budding photographers documenting their lives in lockdown and taking inspiration from A Love Letter To Dundee: Joseph McKenzie Photographs 1964-1987 exhibition currently running at The McManus Art Gallery and Museum in Dundee.

Loving Photography is the culmination of an eight-week-long programme that saw the 10 being guided by photographer and artist David P Scott to find their own photographic style during lockdown. Developed to prevent isolation heightened by the current Covid-19 pandemic, the initiative is a partnership between the McManus’s Learning Team and Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT).

The exhibition features six images from each photographer, chronicling their time in lockdown and celebrating the often overlooked elements of daily life.

Alice Jones said taking part in the course had been the “best thing” she had done “by far” since having a brain tumour.

“I’ve shocked myself,” she said. “I’ve always loved photography but I never knew I could be this good and I am overwhelmed with the positive, awesome feedback.

“I took thousands of pics but who knew I could do this? I feel very emotional about it and it is the best thing I have done by far since having a brain tumour.”

Michelle Cassidy, another participant, said the course had given her self-esteem a boost. “Being part of the programme has given me a push to leave the house and interact with the world and begin to see the beauty of life again,” she said.

“The sense of accomplishment each week through completing a series of photos had a huge benefit to my wellbeing and seeing and hearing others’ enjoyment in my photos definitely was a boost to my self-esteem.”

Cassidy said the course was like a kind of therapy, particularly as it involved explaining her photos. “The social interaction with the other participants and the feeling of acceptance for being me and of my difficulties, where difficulties don’t matter, allowed me to feel me again, something I don’t feel very often,” she said.

From the rain-soaked streets of Perth to crisp white snowscapes, images in both colour and black and white are inspired by McKenzie’s work. Photographs of brooding cityscapes and soaring murmurations sit alongside photos taken at home, elevating the mundane to a new level.

Chris Kelly, projects co-ordinator for THAT said the project had provided a positive focus during the lockdown. “Our participants are finding this second lockdown even more difficult and the weekly creative challenges provided a positive focus and exchange for everyone,” he said. “The overwhelmingly positive response to this project has highlighted the potential of these partnerships and the key role art and photography plays in enhancing wellbeing and resilience at this difficult time.”

Loving Photography runs online from now until May 29 and more information can be found at