Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Connection in Isolation Exhibition at The Horsebridge

One of the things I love about living in Whitstable is having The Horsebridge on my doorstep. They always have the best exhibitions and there is always something new happening it seems every time I go past. They were closed for a good part of lockdown, so when they opened back up again and with a pretty poignant theme for their first exhibition back, it was top of my list to go and visit on our next free day ... and it was also Jude's first visit for art (because age two months is the perfect age to start incorporating art for young minds!) 
This Sonic Youth - esque piece was a bit of me! 
There was a huge variety of different art forms in the exhibition consisting of photographs, models, drawings and collages from a range of different groups and individuals. My go to is always photography when thinking of exhibitions. For me, creatively I love photography but I also love scrapbooking and collages so to see collages in frames and on the walls I thought was great.  

I loved this piece by Bright Shadow

The lockdown story piece I found to be quite overwhelming; the art work featured a map of Whitstable alongside reliving the past year in lockdown. The piece is so detailed, and even looking back at the photographs I took, I'm finding fragments that I hadn't recalled seeing when I was physically there looking at it. It feels surreal seeing all the events that have happened this year, and it really hit me when I was viewing it how different life is now. 

From The Horsebridge's Instagram, I did a little bit of research on the lockdown story; the 'Staying at Home In Whitstable' project was created by the community service manager of Red Zebra; local people sent their experiences throughout lockdown, then the responses were turned into art by Rob Turner.

I wanted to give a little shout out to Red Zebra as upon writing this post, and finding out more about the exhibition, it reminded me of how amazing Red Zebra are ... on the weekend that lockdown was announced, by the Monday I had come down with Covid symptoms. As the days went on my health deteriorated (it was quite worrying being pregnant, coughing up all over the place and having a serious lack of energy). I wasn't eligible to get tested for Covid at the time. The GP's and midwives said I needed to keep my temperature down with paracetamol and to have a thermometer at hand to track my temperature. As I had symptoms, Brad had to self isolate too so couldn't go out to the pharmacy to get paracetamol and as we were in proper lockdown we were running low on options. We contacted Red Zebra via their form on their website at the time and a few days later, they called to check we were okay, if we needed help (by that time, a pharmacy had managed to deliver what we needed in bulk to see me through as I was pregnant and in the vulnerable category at the time) and they also checked in a few days after that too. I was really humbled by their kindness and it really hit home how lucky we are in Whitstable to have such a good community. 

It feels quite surreal looking at this photo of Jude & Brad as normal, even though we were wearing masks! 
Something I learnt was that each year The Horsebridge hosts a community photography exhibition called 'This Is What I Want To Show You'. Due to the pandemic, the competition had a revamp to 'Virtually This Is What I Want To Show You' - I thought it was such a clever twist, and was one of my favourite aspects to view in the gallery; I ended up with a list of people that I went and followed on Instagram too! 

The POST Hope postcards I loved the most; each was so different and so unique. I actually wished there was a way they could be made into some form of photography book or programme because the designs were simply brilliant. The postcards are on sale at The Horsebridge for £20 each with a £10 donation going to The Horsebridge. 
Connection In Isolation is running until the 1st of November. If you are local to Whitstable or can visit, I'd 100% recommend a trip down to see it before it closes. For more information check out The Horsebridge's website.
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