Fermynwoods Contemporary Art are partnering with HOME as part of their Homemakers series, where artists create new works in isolation for an audience also isolated by the coronavirus lockdown.


Experience the works here from 1 May.

Alongside Cambridge Junction, Fermynwoods have commissioned Anna Brownsted to work with artists from across three countries – the UK, the US and Estonia – on Week Nine, a cinematic soundscape for headphones, composed through long-distance collaboration.

James Steventon, Director, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, said: “While we are confined to our homes, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art are determined to use the opportunity to demonstrate that artists are both problem solvers and an important part of all of our lives. We are delighted to be partnering with HOME and Cambridge Junction to enable Anna Brownsted to create a new work to reach people at home.”

In addition to commissioned work by Bryony Kimmings, Ad Infinitum, Plaster Cast Theatre and Chris Thorpe & Yusra Warsama, the latest works to be announced include:

ARC Stockton – Vici Wreford-Sinnott
Cambridge Junction – Zoe Svendsen and Hannah Jane Walker
Candoco Dance Company – Jo Bannon
Chinese Arts Now – Naomi Sumner Chan
Fermynwoods Contemporary Art – Anna Brownsted
Lime Pictures – Seiriol Davies and Matthew Blake
Music Theatre Wales and London Sinfonietta – Elayce Ismail and Alex Ho
Oldham Coliseum Theatre – Hafsah Aneela Bashir
Z-Arts and STUN – Chad Taylor

Jude Christian, Associate Director at HOME, said: “We’re so proud to be joining forces with such a powerhouse group of commission partners, and to see what the brilliant artists they’re bringing on board will create.”

Music Theatre Wales and London Sinfonietta are partnering on the creation of an entirely new piece of music theatre for screen-based audiences, bringing together two artists they had been hoping to work with and who had not previously met: composer Alex Ho and theatre maker Elayce Ismail. Working collaboratively online, they are exploring ideas around dissociation and concepts of reality using found sounds and found materials

Cambridge Junction have commissioned new work from Zoe Svendsen, director of METIS, and Hannah Jane Walker. Hannah Jane Walker will be developing a poetic experiment in audio fiction, that explores how we are having a bit of a breather from our regular life rhythm; how there are people fighting for breath; and how an automatic body reflex has become a heavily focused on act.

Using an interactive-documentary-performance-script, METIS will invite participant-households to imagine how we would like our world to be different when we re-emerge from lockdown.

Matt Burman, Artistic Director and CEO at Cambridge Junction, said: “It is as important as ever for those of us who can to support artists and the development of new work, so that we might continue to find ways to make sense of the world, to connect and culturally nourish people wherever they may be. Collaboration is key to finding new solutions, new ways of working, and in pathfinding through a very different landscape, and we are happy to be working with our friends and co-producers at HOME on this project.”

Lime Pictures have commissioned new work from Seiriol Davies and Matthew Blake. The two met whilst working with Gideon Reeling and Punchdrunk 13 years ago. Since then, they’ve made lots of work together including How to Win against History and the upcoming Milky Peaks.

Using their experience with subversive musicals as well as immersive and interactive theatre, Seiriol and Matthew are developing GoldenQuest for the Homemakers project. Inspired by fantasy roleplaying, from the 90s television masterpiece gameshow Knightmare to the brilliantly tacky VHS boardgames like Atmosfear, GoldenQuest is a wonky, gaudy, hilarious and musical adventure into and around the audience’s homes – showing us how, even when we can feel totally out of control, there is always joy and hope to be found.

For Chinese Arts Now, Naomi Sumner will create a new piece titled, Wait, I’m from Wuhan. She said: “Wait I’m from Wuhan is partly inspired by my own experiences as a transracial adoptee, adopted from Hong Kong into a White British family. I am part of several Facebook groups for Chinese adoptees and since the outbreak of COVID-19 there has been an increasing amount of worry and fear among group members when thinking about how their birth families may have been affected. Adoptees from Hubei province are especially worried that birth family members have died of corona virus and they have now lost the opportunity to meet people with whom they share a significant biological connection. On the flip side they wish they could find a way to reassure their birth families that they are ok. As well as dealing with anxiety related to their birth families, these Chinese adoptees are dealing with coronavirus related racism online and in real life, sometimes feeling unable to talk about these experiences with their White parents.”

The collaboration between Jo Bannon and Candodco Dance Company is one that has been developing for some time.

Charlotte Darbyshire, Artistic Director, Candoco Dance Company, said: “Candoco Dance Company is delighted to be a commissioning partner for Homemakers and to join forces with HOME to commission disabled artist Jo Bannon. Jo and I have been looking for ways to engage in creative dialogue and research for some time and the Homemakers initiative feels like a fantastic and timely way to do this.”

Oldham Coliseum Theatre Associate Artist Hafsah Aneela Bashir, inspired by her love of poetry, is creating the Poetry Health Service as a tool for healing. Using both her own poetry and gifted poems, she will provide poetry panaceas by the people for the people. Emphasising the importance of art to our mental and emotional health, the PHS will be accessible both online and via a dedicated phoneline where people will be able to respond to the service. The idea came from daily Insta Live readings Hafsah has been delivering every day at 2.30pm since the lockdown.

For Z-arts, Chad Taylor has created a vibrant new dance piece, exploring dance through digital media.

Vici Wreford-Sinnott, commissioned by ARC Stockton, is a disabled writer, theatre director, activist and feminist. Her piece Siege gives space for disabled performance makers to talk about transgressive women – women who break boundaries, defy definitions and explode stereotypes in their work.

The works are available to experience on the HOME website on a ‘pay-what-you-can’ basis, with ticket prices available at levels from free to £100 from 1 May.