By Erica Smith

The objects we love to live with is the subject of an exciting new online collaborative project that has commenced in Lockdown 2, created by Explore The Arch, a theatre company specialising in theatre in domestic spaces, and their partner organisation Active Arts, Hastings and Bexhill Mencap’s performing and visual arts strand.

You are invited to share a portrait photo or video of yourself with an object that you love to live with to an online gallery that everyone can enjoy, particularly the Active Arts community who are operating remotely at home and therefore currently among the more isolated members of the community. “Early offerings to the project reveal that it’s a joyful and fascinating way to get to know people, listening to their thoughts on what an object they cherish means to them,” explains Explore The Arch’s artistic director, Gail Borrow.

How you can join in

To participate, send a photo portrait of yourself with an object you treasure, along with a brief story of what it means to you, or a short video, 20 seconds or less, to [email protected]. Or, share via social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) with the hashtag #LockdownLookingAtThings.

The growing gallery can be viewed here: explorethearch.com/lookingatthings

The project was inspired by a visit to Teddy Tinker’s, a St Leonards-on-Sea creative business rehoming objects to new owners. The pre-lockdown trip to source objects for the Active Arts community’s exploration underlined how the relationship with an object that compels is similar to the act of falling in love with someone. Ann Bloomfield of Active Arts explains, “Looking at Things opened our eyes and captured our imaginations,
the ‘WOW I love that’ response was immensely powerful and has given students an opportunity to create and explore both emotions and memories.”

The project will continue beyond the Lockdown 2 period as the Active Arts community will continue to operate remotely. Please take part and share
the details with anyone who is shielding or more isolated at present. An exhibition at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery will open in January, responding to the findings of this exploration.


We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.