Wigan arts hub produces book of lockdown experiences

The Language of Lockdown, commissioned by The Old Courts, explores people’s raw feelings and emotions during a year of astonishing upheaval.
The Old Courts has commissioned the book The Language of LockdownThe Old Courts has commissioned the book The Language of Lockdown
The Old Courts has commissioned the book The Language of Lockdown

Residents from Wigan and Leigh have been joined by creative voices from Greater Manchester and further afield for the volume, which draws together contributions by people aged from six to 82.

More than 100 people eventually put together the work which appears between the covers, exploring the vast range of ways in which 2020 was like nothing they had experienced before.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Crawford Street culture centre said it wanted to create a permanent memorial to the novel coronavirus pandemic and how people had got through it.

Half Full by Peter AspinallHalf Full by Peter Aspinall
Half Full by Peter Aspinall

Jonny Davenport, artistic director of The Old Courts, said: “We wanted something that would live on beyond these unprecedented times, something to look back on as a reminder of both how difficult things were in that moment and how, as a community, people managed to overcome and perhaps learn from our experiences.

“At a time when so many felt helpless, the book represents the emotions and feelings being lived by a collective throughout the world, no matter where you come from or live.

“We want to provide hope to others demonstrating they were not alone in how we have been feeling, despite being in such an isolating period.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The book looks at subjects including the boredom of having to stay at home and being furloughed, the feelings of children missing school, the entrance of words such as ‘Covid’, ‘lockdown’ and ‘PPE’ into the lexicon, the mental health and wellbeing struggles and missing birthdays and special occasions.

Captain Tom's 100th birthday by six-year-old Amelie LeggottCaptain Tom's 100th birthday by six-year-old Amelie Leggott
Captain Tom's 100th birthday by six-year-old Amelie Leggott

The work also looks at how communications technology such as Zoom and Facetime played a more important role in our lives and the desperate need for a haircut alongside more serious topics such as dealing with loss and grief, feeling unity with others but only at a social distance and not being able to hug people.

Poets of all ages put pen to paper to express their thoughts on subjects including lockdown and the new rules and regulations we have had to live under, with writers including primary school age children.

Others put their thoughts into visual form, with paintings and photography tackling topics including the inspirational Captain Tom who celebrated his 100th birthday and raised millions of pounds for the NHS and the experiences of the older generation who were more susceptible to becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Old Courts put out an open call for contributors to the project and the final work contains more than 150 pieces by 109 people.

It also hosted creative writing workshops for both adults and children to help them with their contributions.

Funding for the book was provided by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The Language of Lockdown, put together by The Old Courts, is available now on Amazon in paperback priced £15.99.

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here and viewing our offers ..