Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

ExploreTheArch director chose her red shoe as the object that brings her joy: “When these treasured shoes wore out, I took them to be repaired for the last time and retired them to my windowsill.”

#Lockdown Looking At Things

The objects we love to live with is the subject of an exciting new online collaborative project that has commenced in Lockdown2. Erica Smith casts her eye over this project created by ExploreTheArch theatre company.

ExploreTheArch is a theatre company that specialises in experimental performance in domestic spaces. Whilst Covid-19 has stopped performance, ExploreTheArch has been finding other ways to engage with audiences through lockdown.

This new project has been developed with students from Open Door and Active Arts  – Hastings & Bexhill Mencap’s performance and visual arts strands who are continuing to work online through Lockdown2.

Antony from Hastings & Bexhill Mencap visited Teddy Tinker’s to select items that he knew would appeal to individual Active Arts’ students

The project was inspired by a visit to Teddy Tinker’s, a St Leonards-on-Sea creative business which rehomes objects to new loving owners. The pre-lockdown trip to source objects for the Active Arts community’s exploration underlined how the relationship with an object that compels is similar to the act of falling in love with someone. Ann Bloomfield of Active Arts explains, “Looking at Things opened our eyes and captured our imaginations – the ‘WOW – I love that!’ response was immensely powerful and has given students an opportunity to create and explore both emotions and memories.”

In the video above, one of the Active Arts students speaks eloquently about why he was attracted to this figurine.

When Laurie Piper was looking for a place to sleep in the middle of a forest, he found this jay feather and knew he’d be safe.

You are invited to share a portrait photo or video of yourself with an object that you love to live with to the #LockdownLookingAtThings online gallery. Everyone can enjoy the range of photographs, but particularly the Active Arts community who are operating remotely at home and therefore currently among the more isolated members of the community.

“Early offerings to the projects reveal that it’s a joyful and fascinating way to get to know people, listening to their thoughts on what an object they cherish means to them. It is all about how we look and what is ignited when we see something that we love”, explains ExploreTheArch’s artistic director, Gail Borrow.

Erin Brookes Doolan chose a penguin that she made as her special object.

How you can join in

To participate, send a photo portrait of you with an object you treasure, along with a brief story of what it means to you or a short video, 20 seconds or less to

Or share via social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) with the hashtag #LockdownLookingAtThings.

The growing collection of images and stories can be viewed in the #LookingAtThings online gallery.

The project will continue beyond the Lockdown2 period as the Active Arts community will continue to operate remotely. Please take part and share the details with anyone who is shielding or more isolated at present.

Looking at Things moves to Hastings Museum

An exhibition at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery will open in January, responding to the findings of this exploration.

Both the tiny glass Mickey Mouse and the figurine of Sylvester the Cat proved popular objects for the Active Arts students to hold and to draw.

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Posted 21:29 Wednesday, Nov 25, 2020 In: Community Arts

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