HOME - Noli Timere
Our imaginations wandered when we couldn't.
We are excited to share a series of short films as a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As announced in the summer, HOME - Noli Timere has worked to collate the photos, videos, lyrics and literature which have inspired hope in lockdown life. 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. Submitted to the project by members of the public and artists alike, these artistic responses to the ongoing pandemic have been transformed into a series of short films that we have released as Facebook and Youtube premieres and that you can now access by clicking the title links below.
Editor: Conan McIvor
Composer: Garth McConaghie
Photography: Carrie Davenport, Madeline Kelly, John Baucher and the MAC team
"A Prayer for Belfast" by Carol Rumens
First published by Bloodaxe Books in Best China Sky (1993)
Read by Madeline Kelly, Charlie Magill, Molly Kelly and Archie Magill
With thanks to Stuart Bailie, Jan Carson, Vincent Higgins, and Eileen McClory
Artist/photographer: John Baucher
Composer: Neil Foster
Words: Alice Malseed
Voice: Abigail McGibbon
Audio Mastering: Garth McConaghie
"The film ‘It Will Pass’ is inspired by the notion of escape, both physically and mentally. We may all have been constrained but for me, I was able to dream and think beyond my real-time boundaries. I wanted the film to feel like a meditative balm, an incomplete journey.
Noli timere - Do not be afraid". John Baucher
Photographer: Carrie Davenport
Composer: Garth McConaghie
Editor: Conan McIvor
Writer and performer: Abby Oliveria
Trumpet accompaniment: Rick Swann
“When lockdown hit the world seemed chaotic and unfamiliar. Suddenly we couldn't see family and friends who were our world and it hurt to be torn away from them when all you wanted was to go to them and make sure they were ok. As a freelance photographer, my work all but vanished, as it did for so many. I found once I settled into that new normal that will never actually feel normal, I enjoyed taking photos just for fun and being creative helped with all the bad news and confusion. I loved spending time with my little girl and watching her grow. I walked around the city photographing the buildings which have always been there, a sort of constant in the ever-changing world that made it feel like not everything had changed. I vowed to never take for granted a cuppa at mums or a meeting with a friend again. Mostly, I found positives in all that time I would not normally have and to make the most of every minute of it. As Abby perfectly puts it, at home where time is never spent but invested.” Carrie Davenport
“Throughout the pandemic, I've been struck by a need to document as much of it as possible, if only for the future reference of my son who was born mid-lockdown. I included those things that stood out most vividly to me; the eerily empty streets, the hand-crafted masks made by local women, grandparents meeting their grandkids through glass panes… I wanted to include some photography terms in the text; while researching these I discovered the concept of the 'blue hour' (the hour immediately before (or after) sunrise), and from there the central idea for the poem emerged. Carrie was eager to ultimately keep focused on the positives emerging from this situation; many of us have opted to take this approach for the sake of our sanity. However, the fact is that, in the background of our lives, there's constant nagging fear; our streets may be quieter during lockdown, but there are riots in our hearts and minds that threaten to someday spill onto the eerie streets.” Abby Oliveira
Music: Una Monaghan & Lyra Pramuk
Cartoon Illustrations: Andrea Montgomery
Video: Conan McIvor
Photography supplied by the MAC audience: Alana Barton, Alexandra Platt, HB Moore, Brenda Graham, Café Carberry, Carol Moore, Conor Ross, David Fitzsimmons, El McCullough, Jane Coyle, Jennifer Ebbage, Joe Laverty, Katie Ballentine, Ken Giles, Laney Mannion, Leanne Thornbury, Marelle Hannah, Marianna Patane, Melanie Bowden, Natalie Grabecki, Nuala Donnelly, Roberta Mawhinney, Rosie McGurran, Shona Pryde, Sylvia Pititto, Suzanne Burell, Thomas Hawkins.
Illustrations which has been created using the photographic submissions from you, our MAC audience. Photos of life in lockdown, friends, family, animals, countryside views and the ordinary moments at home have inspired our team to create this special short film. Another inspiration for the films’ creative elements also stemmed from a poem titled 'Sonnet’ written by Sacha White, which you can read below:
We happily marooned ourselves inside the house and set adrift
the outside world, then took to building smaller borders.
I claimed the spare room for a study, with its loose-tile-leak dripping
spring showers onto the windowsill. The view of rooftops
changed slowly with the season, evening shadows shortened
and summer came regardless of our absence. It arrived in punnets
from the grocers, smelling of elsewhere.
I slowly overwhelmed the house with plants,
studied where the sunstreams hit at different times
and carefully arranged long-leafed aspidistras and string-of-hearts,
parlour palms and an optimistic citrus tree.
Still, as soon as it was possible to venture back out into life,
I walked as far as I could, found warm sour berries in the bushes,
sat on the park bench, ate them greedily.
Poem by Damian Gorman
Performed by Suzanne Savage
Composed by Garth McConaghie
Video by Conan McIvor
"While for some of us this COVID time isn't the worst, there are others for whom it is - a time of isolation, sickness, or grief. And COVID isn't the only thing putting people under pressure. Inside and outside, there are many people getting it tight. Obviously, our hearts are with them. But I wanted to offer something else to them as well - the words of this poem, brought so beautifully to life by Garth, Suzanne, and Conan.
And, for what it's worth, I offer this thought too: It is a fact that in the darkest spaces I have ever been I have eventually found slivers of light, or the ingredients of light.
That time has always come. So far. It really has." - Damian Gorman
Written and voiced by Clare Dwyer Hogg
Directed by Emma Jordan
Videography and editing by Ciaran Bagnall
Music composition by Garth McConaghie
Drone operation by Connor Kane
Dedicated to Matt Curry
"We’re happy to share the final short film in this HOME – Noli Timere series, a collective artistic response to our lives in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope these films have brought you joy, laughter, and encouragement but we equally recognise the vulnerability in the many poignant, emotive, and touching messages that have been conveyed through these short pieces. Lockdown has looked different for everyone, but we hope that you’ve been able to relate even just to a moment in one of these films, and have ultimately found hope and inspiration for the days that lie ahead.
We are grateful to ALL the artists that contributed to the making of these films. Whilst we find our own paths through the pandemic, I think that it is vital to remember that creative expression, in whatever form, is not just essential, it is the very essence of human existence.
Noli Timere." - Simon Magill, MAC Creative Director
With special thanks to:
Clare Dwyer Hogg, Dan Ferguson, Niamh Ferguson, Micah Ferguson, Éabha Ferguson, Neil McDonald, Emily Bagnall, Roísín Bagnall, Harriet O’Neill, Jen Bagnall, Dylan Bagnall, Mary Jordan, Shane O’Neill, Sian Mulholland, Cathal Mulholland, Christy Agnew, Joanne Lee, Casey Lee, Nicola Curry, and Matilda Jordan Curry.
Proudly supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council