Hello my fellow wordsmith and page turners,

Lockdown has been difficult for most of us, we have all been holed up in our houses and flats doing our best impressions of our pets longingly looking out the window waiting for their master/mistresses to come home so that they can go outside.

New content on television and other mainstream media has also been vastly affected, leaving many of us to be watching reruns after reruns. But what of the creatives? what have they been doing during this time?

Today we will be looking at some of the more impressive feats that I have stumbled upon throughout lockdown.

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QUARANTINE COMIX – Rachael Smith [@rachael_]

Rachael Smith it’s a writer, graphic novelist and comic-creator. She has several published works “Artificial Flowers”, and “Wired Wrong” to name a few. Her previous work is deeply rooted in promoting mental health and wellbeing and this is apparent in her recent Quarantine Comix project. Throughout these comics we can see Smith going about her day to day life, depicting her actions and thoughts and in a way asking the same questions we have all been asking ourselves whilst trapped inside our boxes made of brick and mortar. She released a daily comic until day 200 of lockdown which is both an incredible achievement and commitment. 

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HOST [@gem_gem_hurley, @DirRobSacage & @Jedshepherd]

Host is a 2020 British found footage horror film directed by Rob Savage and based on a script written by Savage, Gemma Hurley, and Jed Shepherd.

The film itself is based on a short video released by Savage earlier in 2020. Within this we see Savage investigate his attic/loft while on a group video chat with some fellow creatives.  It was initially intended as a prank, as the others were unaware that a frightening visage would pop up on camera, and Savage placed the video online, where it went viral.

Following such a positive response from fans, and the ease of making such a film this spurred Savage on to create HOST along with Gemma Hurley, and Jed Shepherd.

HOST was filmed during quarantine when restrictions were at their peak. This meant that any directions given to actors had to be done remotely, and they had to essentially film themselves, and set up their own stunts. Practical effects were also handled by the actors and a virtual workshop was held on how to set up effects such as “moving doors, and how to make things fly off shelves”. 

The film was originally delivered on Shudder, and is now considered to be one of the scariest films released in 2020.

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“NHS THANK YOU” – Nathan Wyburn – [@NathanWyburnArt]

Nathan Wyburn, an artist from Cardiff was inspired after the very first clap for our key workers across the health and support industry that took place from March. Nathan reached out to hundreds of nurses, porters, carers and doctors via social media in order to obtain photo’s to make up this magnificent homage to their efforts during the lockdown period.

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PLENDER – -[@HullNoir] 

The short film, “Plender”, was a Hull Noir lockdown project. As a festival, we’ve always argued that the Humber’s Ted Lewis is the great lost British crime writer. His novel “Jack’s Return Home” was filmed as the iconic “Get Carter”, but “Plender” (1971) resonates that bit more as it’s a Hull-set novel and it’s our festival read for 2020/2021. With a small emergency grant from Arts Council England, Nick Quantrill and Nick Triplow adapted a passage from the novel and they worked with Dave Lee (film) and Matt Sutton (read) to bring it to life. The challenge was finding the right backdrops to be suggestive of Hull fifty years ago and nailing the voice of the character, tasks Dave and Matt were more than equal to.

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SENSE OF SELF – Christopher Gallagher

‘SENSE OF SELF’ is a project cooked up by Chris Gallagher designed to reclaim the ‘selfie’ from an expression of vanity, to one of art. Gallagher depicts himself in each of his photographs, but never showing his entire face. This represents how lockdown has allowed us time to look at the pieces of ourselves we would usually pay no mind to. Thus promoting the image of one’s true self rather than the vanity of a selfie. You can check out more of his work on his Instagram page: @beauhemiaphotography

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I Hope you have enjoyed today’s post on creative quarantine projects, perhaps you have done one of your own, or know of a different amazing project that is not listed above. If so let me know in the comments or send me a message as I would love to include them!

Until next time, read more books!

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