Jacqui Kenny has travelled the world without stepping out of her house. In a single day she continent-hops from Sun City, Arizona to Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, the sandy streets of Senegal, and then back home to London.
Kenny suffers from Agoraphobia, a condition that causes “fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness or embarrassment”. But that couldn’t keep her down from realizing her dreams, and she went on to photograph the world with the help of Google Street View right from her home. Kenny says, “Agoraphobia and anxiety limit my ability to travel, so I’ve found another way to see the world.”
If you see her shots, you’d be mesmerized! Google agrees with that, and is acknowledging her dedication. How? Just go to www.google.com, and you’ll see a clickable link reading “Meet the artist who photographed the world without leaving home” just sitting below the Google Search bar. ALSO READ: Google Street View goes beyond Earth, enters the International Space Station
If you click this link, it takes you to a webpage by Google, which is dedicated to the work of Jacqui Kenny. How she came to begin photographing via Street View, how has her experience been, and her journey as an artist ever since. “I was diagnosed with agoraphobia about eight years ago,” Kenny tells Metro UK, “But I’ve lived with extreme anxiety and panic attacks for over 20 years.”
“Because it’s so tricky for me to travel away from my comfort zones, it affects all aspects of my daily life. The smallest journey can feel like I’m climbing Mount Everest and the further away from my comfort zones the more anxious I feel. Planes and trains and travelling long distances are the most challenging for me,” she adds. ALSO READ: Google Street View images show how street trees regulate ecosystem services
Then a year ago it was one day when she found herself clicking through Google Street View when the idea came to her. She stumbled across an arresting scene of a dog running behind the Street View camera car. Jacqui positioned the framing, took a screenshot and thought to herself, “That’s a beautiful picture”.
She went through remote places in parts of the world that had always fascinated her, such as Peru and Mongolia, diligently poking down side roads and out-of-the-way places, capturing the arresting moments that called out to her. The more she explored with Street View, the more she began to find the frames that spoke to her.
Though initially Kenny kept her work to herself, she was eventually encouraged by her family to share them, which actually helped her amass over 50,000 followers on her Instagram account in just a few months. ALSO READ: Woman spots dead mother outside her house on Google Earth