Donate your life under lockdown objects for new Hackney museum project

Out of the ManCave_5 (1)

Hackney Museum is seeking personal objects from local people which reflect their lives during the pandemic as part of a new project, called ‘Collecting Covid’. 

Items put forward so far include: protective clothing made in Hackney, identity tags for a baby born during lockdown, a bilingual prayer book and a vaccination vial. 

The project launches alongside - and is inspired by - a display currently at the Museum called ‘Out of the ManCave’, which celebrates the Hackney Brocals, a social club for men aged 50+ which held events during lockdown to combat isolation.

Submissions to ‘Collecting Covid’ can be made by people who live, work or study in Hackney, and seek to reflect the borough’s diverse communities. They will be used in a temporary exhibition in 2022 and for future research.

The ‘Out of the ManCave’ display was created by Angela Groundwater, an artist and wallpaper designer working with the Hackney Brocals. She used intricate patterns and personal artefacts to share stories from the participants’ lives before and during lockdown.

Angela said: “Hanging out with the Brocals and hearing their life stories coupled with the way they dealt with lockdown was inspiring - what struck me most was what individuals they each are, wise, comic and full of life. As a creative I feel it is up to us to reveal the beauty of age, help to promote this group to prompt further interest and expose this generation’s beauty."

    Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy
    Cllr Nicholson, Deputy Mayor for Housing supply, Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy said: “It is important for us to leave a record of our memories and experiences of the last 14 months and create a collection that will be there for future generations to understand this moment in our collective social history and how we lived through a global pandemic, isolating ourselves whilst still supporting each other. 

    I hope there will be personal objects that will tell of our honesty and of our understanding of each other, objects that will represent personal and collective joy and sadness, courage and fear, strength and weakness, relief and worry. Hackney’s communities over the generations have a reputation of responding to adversity with spirit, courage and creativity. It is now our turn to record our spirit, courage and creativity into Hackney’s timeline and what better institution to lead us in this project than our very own Museum”.

    Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy

    To find out more or to share your stories and objects please contact: museum@hackney.gov.uk

    Hackney Museum is now open. To book a free ticket visit hackney-museum.hackney.gov.uk/visiting 

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