Blue is the Hour
Carrie Davenport & Abby Oliveira

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“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

Proudly supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council

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