Lockdown Letters

An installation at Strawberry Hill House

Judith North, Kate Proudman and Charmaine Stimson

An installation about the letters Strawberry Hill House received from local people – Write to Horace Walpole- about their lockdown experiences.

The site-specific installation had several parts in various locations around the house; soundscapes, film and installation, which explored the contradictions of the letters: that the handwritten letters were received digitally due to lockdown; that Horace Walpole did not receive them nor reply;  and that the individual letters together created a strong collective experience.

All in it Together: Phrases from the letters were printed on cards and set on long tables running the length of the Long Room producing a stream of collective thought.

The Letter Box/ The Writing Room: A museum like Strawberry Hill has lost its house-noises. No one lives there, no one knocks at the door  – in fact there is no letter box. We produced soundscapes introducing the sound of letters into the house-  letters being delivered, dogs barking at the postman, packages being left on the doorstep. The sounds were recorded  by volunteers of their own front doors.  The Writing Room was filled with the sounds of letters being written, sounds of how we communicate now – so different from Horace Walpole’s day – emails, texts, or WhatsApp;  maybe not sitting at a desk, but we still communicate using the written word.

Getting it down on Paper: a projection of selected letters onto a giant paper scroll.

The Collective Dream: a film projection, incorporating found imagery referenced in the letters.

Read about the show HERE

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