Home Alone Together

Since the lockdown I’ve been in regular contact with older people stuck at home for long periods of time.  Their situation has worsened but, in many ways, it has remained the same, highlighting the social and health inequalities in our communities. 

Not one person I know has the Internet or a mobile phone. For a while, when the lockdown began, I panicked and worried, felt powerless to help and support the people whose stories I’ve been telling in my installation and live performances. 

Then I started to write letters and to record my telephone calls with a group of the women I know the best, all in their 80’s and 90’s, documenting what was happening to them and trying to make sense of what was happening to me. 

As they were feeling more trapped inside I was spending more and more of my time outside, photographing and filming the flowers, the river at the bottom of my garden, listening to the birds, seeing the small changes as spring developed into summer. I made this moving image combining the words from the letters, my diary and the audio from the telephone calls, with film extracts from my natural landscape. 

This has become a wider and on-going project connecting with older people through letters and creative activities, supported by Search in Newcastle, Gateshead Council though their Art Diamonds project, Belle View Services in Belford as part of Northumberland County Council’s Winter Festival and East Durham Creates with East Durham Trust's Chit Chat project. 

The film ‘Home Alone Together’ was created with the support of Culture Liverpool for Rise Together 2020 and Arts Council England