In this third chapter, nine more of our Home Work commissioned artists explore care in our relationships with others and with ourselves.
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This week: Claire Bigley, Lucy Fiori, Cath Garvey, Emma Long, Jessie McLaughlin, Marjorie H Morgan, Beth Mountain, Shonagh Short, and Laura Spark.
Scroll down for workshops, videos, poems, zines and more...
by Marjorie H Morgan
Award winning playwright, director and producer Marjorie H Morgan guides us through a four week programme of workshops to begin creative writing. The programme covers:
Introduction to Creative Writing, Writer’s Toolbox and character development
Flash Fiction and short stories
Poetry - written and performance
Blogs and journaling
Creative Writing Workshop Podcast
Creative Writing Workshop Workbook
by Beth Mountain
At the beginning of lockdown, I was commissioned by the Heart of Glass with the idea to create a performance on invisible disabilities/illnesses. Originally I was going to talk about how people don't see the invisible disabilities/illnesses; in the process my grandad fell ill and I had ignored his dementia for a while. I decided to create this piece in tribute to my Grandad Mountain.
by Cath Garvey
Care for me was looking after and growing plants, I wanted to make something useful that young people can read and enjoy.
I found making this comic/guide refreshing and I enjoyed researching and writing instructions on growing food from leftover fruit and veg.
I researched on ways to germinate apple and lemon seeds and tried it out myself. Now my apple and lemon trees are thriving and I'm hoping to move them in bigger pots soon.
I struggled making a character for the comic, originally they were meant to be a flower but eventually discovered a sassy bee is a lot cuter.
Get Growing comic
by Emma Long
I share with you some pages of a ‘photo journal’, a little snapshot of my experience of being a Covid-19 Mutual Aid Support Volunteer since the 2ndApril 2020. This involves food shopping for 2 local older ladies on a Monday night (and more recently for my older friend too, who I met whilst walking my dog 2 years ago). My partner Tim does our weekly food shop alongside, so we each have a trolley. I also pop to a newsagent to pick up a newspaper and cakes for 1 of the ladies on a Saturday morning. However, these are just the fundamental duties of the role – purchasing the food contributes toward their survival and in the case of the newspaper, partially fulfils an informative and recreational need.
More recently a request for the purchase of cigarettes, whilst evidently a huge contributor to the development of certain cancers helps one lady to ‘survive’ with chronic pain; they provide a source of comfort much in the way one could crave a ‘nice glass of red’ or ‘can of Stella’ at the end of a tough day.
Throughout I’ve taken photographs when spontaneous moments of ‘care symbolism’ revealed themselves; when one lady explained that she had ran out of something and retrieved the empty container to show me that she needed more, when the same lady had been tending, caring for her garden and had taken a quick break, when another lady had answered the phone and came back out to find the stray cat she had been caring for had arrived for her evening meal.
I’ve presented these photographs with my own hands in a further set of photographs. Hands were and still are an integral part of my role; dialling the numbers, writing the shopping list, steering the wheel whilst driving to the shops, handling the cash, carrying the bags, applying hand gel and so on.
These hands have provided the care and enabled the exchange. The ladies present what they need or provide me with the tools I need i.e. money and carrier bags with their hands at their front doors or by typing a list into a text message. I stand at my own front door in the images inviting the viewer at a ‘safe and social distance’ to look and read the accompanying text which details snippets of just some of the conversations and my research about Care. During each visit to drop off the shopping, we have a good chinwag for at least half an hour or arrange a time in the week for a phone call.
We’ve developed a kind of ‘friendship’, we can laugh together and wax lyrical! Ultimately, it’s these exchanges which have allowed for discussions to take place, most of which have been in relation to the pandemic, family life and how each of us has shown and experienced care throughout our lives....and there’s much more to tell.
by Jessie McLaughlin
wherever they are
(even here, in vårberg - this new home u never quite made it to)
the sound of seagulls
always makes me think of
by Shonagh Short
by Laura Spark
How To Garden Like a Real Witch is an ongoing project by Laura Spark. The tongue in cheek video blog uses a whimsical gothic lens of magic and gardening to suggest philosophical and ethical themes. Using film, animation and performance, the improvised character, Lennox Mead, never really gets round to teaching us how to garden. The blog ultimately aims to be uplifting and encouraging, reminding us that our lives are enriched not only by awareness and care of the self, but also care beyond the self - our communities and our relationship with nature.
Check out more episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpvrVh-mPQwfi8yvc61SSlQ
by Claire Bigley
As someone who leads, enables and creates opportunities for others this project gave me the chance to focus on my own creativity during our life now…2020
Caring for my Son had to feature in this process; his ‘normal’ changed too and he needed me to support his navigation through that change.
I chose to combine images and words, both of which have been a comfort to me since lockdown... seeing loved-ones, places, nature and exploring all I feel through words on a page. Self care is crucial as a Mother & Maker.
by Lucy Fiori
I had originally wanted to explore whether the industry of self care was making us selfish, however, as a normally, very busy single mum I suddenly found myself in lockdown with more time on my hands and felt pressure to make the most of this free time, by learning a new skill, exercising more, become more spiritual, caring for and educating my child and this was exacerbated by social media. This was combined with a guilt of not doing enough when key workers are working tirelessly for their community. This gave me the idea to explore self care during lockdown and to create the character of Roger, who was the harsh voice of social media and the critical side of self care. There is of course a flipside of Roger though and I read some great articles available about self care in lockdown.
I began by writing a monologue, to which my mentor on the project Owen gave me the idea to share my journey over time. I wrote some of it during week 4 and it's interesting to see how toilet roll is no longer precious and there are of course far more important issues that need to be addressed right now! The process enabled me to experiment with filming and editing, which is a new skill for me (so I achieved one of my goals!) my daughter made my props and came up with ideas and the process really helped me to remain creative and ultimately have fun during isolation!