Photographer: @cowanwhitfield⁠
Model: @bakejianco ⁠

Mandatory is a raw reflection of the mixed emotions of someone in isolation. Waves of fear, reflection, safety, anxiety, depression and brotherhood, all before 9am. This photo series is taken from my hotel balcony to his. ⁠

"Recently, I just completed the mandatory hotel isolation being enforced by the Australian government for all citizens traveling from overseas.⁠ The government has closed its borders for all non Australian citizens to limit the potential spread of the virus. All Australians who fly back to the country are taken straight from the airport to a hotel and cannot leave their room (guarded by the Army and Federal police) for 14 days. This has been a difficult time for people who have mental health issues because of the solitary confinement. ⁠I was one of those people. ⁠Half way into the mandatory isolation I heard a voice on the balcony next to my room. That's when I met Jake. ⁠Jake, an Osteopath originally from Melbourne had been traveling solo through Central America for the last 5 months before COVID-19 stalled his plans. Two tattoos, a bunch of new friends and a few beers later, he booked the next flight back to Australia via LAX, straight to Brisbane.⁠

⁠Jake and I are both extremely social people in our usual lives, however all of a sudden, anxiety hit hard due to these new unusual circumstances and essentially experiencing solitary confinement⁠. Every morning we would wake up at the same time, just before sunrise. I’d usually get an instagram text saying he had reached around to put a few bags of my favorite tea on my balcony chair - which were needed after the long chats over wine the nights befor⁠e.