Our imaginations wandered, when we couldn’t

We’re excited to share news of a new online video project, which we’d love you to be a part of. Simply titled HOME, it is a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fearful for the future and restricted in our movement, many of us have found comfort, strength, and hope in our appreciation of art, music, and literature these past few months. Without access to our theatres, galleries, music venues, and concert halls, we have engaged with friends and family online and created beautiful things in the downtime. We have read, listened to music, and created colourful rainbows. We’ve done all of this, at home.

We want to create a series of online video pieces, with your help, entitled HOME - Noli Timere. Translated as ‘don’t be afraid’, ‘Noli Timere’ was the final text sent by Seamus Heaney to his wife, Marie. The sentiment is equally powerful and appropriate in the context of the current pandemic. Imagination and creativity have been our shield and our sword – protecting us from fear and enabling us to realise the joy found in small moments.

So, this is where you come in. We’d love our video project to be made up of the pictures you’ve captured during life in lockdown, the good, the bad, the mundane. We want the videos to reflect the theme of HOME, in its broadest sense - the people, the places, the things. This is about all of us, together.

We’ll be working with a team of video and photographic artists, actors, and musicians to realise the videos. What we need you to do is to submit photos that capture some of your experiences of lockdown. Plus, if you have a favourite poem, song lyrics, lines from a play or passage from a novel about NI or by an NI’s artist, please send us those too. These extracts will accompany the videos and will be read by people from all walks of life. We want to celebrate all the moments that have given you discomfort, joy, and reassurance these past few months, fusing them together to create a unique communal perspective of our experiences.

To give you an idea of what we see, our team have created the first video of the series, which you can watch here.

Please email your contribution to [email protected]. We’re excited to have you involved in what we hope will be a meaningful record of how we paused at home, reflected, and re-engaged – together.

Editor: Conan McIvor

Composer: Garth McConaghie

Photography: Carrie Davenport, Madeline Kelly, John Baucher

With thanks to Stuart Bailie, Jan Carson, Vincent Higgins, Eileen McClory, Charlie Magill, Molly Kelly and Archie Magill.