Time was away and somewhere else

Reaching out in lockdown: YouTube premiere


Adventure from your armchair

During COVID-19 lockdown, Louise Ashcroft sits in her armchair to explore five of Knight’s paintings of the Isle of Man in the collection of the VG&M. The paintings become a portal for Louise to return home. Join us, as we go off the beaten track into a meeting point of the hills, sea and sky. Come dwell awhile…

To connect to their ‘at home’ audience during lockdown, the Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool, invited me to respond to five of Knight’s paintings within a relaxed concert format for broadcast on YouTube. With the broadcast due at the height of lockdown, my response was to highlight the present awareness of Knight’s landscapes by creating a space that soothed and sparked curiosity.

Written and recorded from home, this multimedia piece explores the environment and culture that nurtured the artist and botanist, Dr Margery Knight. Using audio and film to step over the boundaries of a recital structure, we created an immersive journey that played to the senses of the audience, inviting them to step into the paintings and explore a different kingdom from the comfort of their armchair.

Fuelled by my experiences of growing up on the Isle of Man and inspired by the shadow box work of Joseph Cornell, I chose to layer Knight’s paintings with Manx folk songs, dialect poems and botany extracts to reveal the life histories that echoes through its landscapes. Stories of home, of adventure, of resilience and hope.

For further insights…

The Way of the Gull – Guest blog post for the VG&M that shares my initial response to the art work.

Songbooks and Seaweed: Learnings from creating in an unknown world – Blog post exploring my creative process

At home with Dr Margery Knight –  A short short to test the ideas for Time was away and somewhere else.

Margery Knight – the Wikipedia page created by an audience member to acknowledge Knight’s contribution to science.

“Enchanting. Informative. An oasis of calm amongst the turmoil of COVID, so enormous thanks for bringing this lovely piece to brighten and soothe my day.” 

Lesley Wilson

“The glorious @VictoriaGallery‘s most recent Culture Bite piece ‘Time Was Away And Somewhere Else..”

University of Liverpool Development and Alumni