Like other museums and public buildings, the Museum and Gallery closed its doors in March 2020. Work on exhibitions and research was abruptly halted as curatorial staff were furloughed. As the pathway to reopening was announced work slowly resumed at the museum. To celebrate the reopening of the building and to welcome visitors back we have put together a programme of exciting new exhibitions – one year on – May 2021.
In Their Shoes is a celebration of our local community during the Covid pandemic. The combination of portraits, narrative accounts and a poignant soundscape, captures the experiences of 14 individuals and groups to tell their lockdown stories.
Professionals from the teaching and construction industries, key and front line workers; including refuse operatives, a supermarket cashier and Intensive Care nurses give accounts of not stopping – rather working in extreme and testing conditions during a time of international crisis. The pantomime Dame who wasn’t able to perform, a chef who made meals for charity in the kitchen of a disused restaurant, school children and a clinically vulnerable person – unable to leave her home at all, recount the toll the pandemic has taken on them personally and professionally. Others tell of the joy of engaging with nature for their mental wellbeing, walking on the South Downs or swimming in the sea.
These stories have been brought together by local photographer Anja Poehlmann, sound artist Adam Moffatt-Seaman and WTM Engagement Officer, Vicki Wells, to capture this unique episode in our shared contemporary history.
In Their Shoes images © Anja Poehlmann