The Waiting Room
Helen and Janice were commissioned by Rosehill Theatre, in Whitehaven, as part of the ‘Together’ project. The project set out to explore new and more deeply engaged ways of collaborating with communities and opening a dialogue about their needs, interests, talents, and stories.
We are Engaged Practice Specialists and work with communities to develop artistic responses. We decided to work with people who had a connection to Howgill Family Centre, where we used to run the art department. Through art workshops they explored ways of reconnecting those relationships and exploring the participant’s experiences of living through a pandemic. Covid19 mandalas that adorned the walls of the exhibition were the result of an initial workshop where stories and recollections were gathered. A particular story inspired Helen and Janice to focus on abandoned chairs left in the theatre as a starting point for the piece.
The waiting room epitomises two years of being frozen, waiting, being apart, socially distant, missing and being restricted. The artists interpreted the participants inspiring stories but also invited individuals to create their own personal response on a chair. The result is, poignant, melancholic but also surprisingly uplifting. The exhibition was on show on the theatre in the Spring of 2022.
Accompanying the installation is a commissioned song by Mark Whiteside AKA One Sided Horse who also used the stories as inspiration for his music. You are able to listen to the song by clicking the link below.