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‘RISE’-ing up in lockdown

The popularity of banana bread baking in lockdown inspires one of the RISE commissions

‘RISE’-ing up in lockdown

by Culture Liverpool

Twelve brand new arts commissions by Culture Liverpool will show how female artists from across the world have responded creatively to the Covid-19 pandemic.


In a special online legacy project, forming part of the city’s RISE season – which pays homage to extraordinary women across the globe – the brand new micro-commissions will provide a social commentary on the impact of coronavirus.

Podcasts, blogs, music, visual art, photography and film are all used to showcase a female response to the crisis, exploring social inequalities, isolation, loss, separation and trying to understand the ‘new normal’.


The commissions are:


  • Still – a photography collection by Liverpool artist Amber Akaunu inspired by how she has used this time to slow down and reconnect with herself and others.
  • Lockdown – Yemeni-Scouse writer and performance artist Amina Atiq uses photography to re-tell her lockdown story.
  • Virtual Insanity – This comedy short film shines a light on lockdown life and is written and produced by actors Cath Rice and Stephen Fletcher.
  • Introspección – Making a return to the RISE programme after opening the 2019 season, Colombian artist Erika Diettes uses self-portraits to empower herself in the midst of Covid-19.
  • And This is What Am Doing! – Karen Gallagher uses dance to lighten the mood, creating a whole diary using only TikTok videos.
  • Little Bird – Lizzie Nunnery has produced an emotive audio piece which provides a snapshot of a mother and daughter separated.
  • Lucent – LIMF Academy alumni LUNA has focused on empowering females with a special track she has created using voice notes from Liverpool women about how they are coping with the health crisis.
  • 45k – This piece of mobile phone photography, created by Clare Brumby, explores the gender divide in the UK and across the rest of the world, which has been further exposed during the Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Oh Hun Women’s Hour – A series of women tell their life in lockdown stories in this podcast, including frontline workers, mothers, business owners and council workers.
  • Mothers Who Make Liverpool in Lockdown – This film by Claire Bigley documents the daily routines of women and uncovers the strength and resolve they have.
  • And Still We Rise – A unique short video which includes contributions from a diverse range of participants to act as a reminder that throughout history, women have risen time and time again. It has been produced by Tmesis Theatre.
  • Home Alone Together – Artist and activist Sharon Bailey has created this short film which challenges our idea about ageing and shows how culture can play a role in supporting vulnerable, isolated and lonely people.

All the unique commissions can be enjoyed by visiting:  www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/risetogether/


RISE has been curated by Liverpool City Council and funded by Arts Council England.


Director of Culture for Liverpool, Claire McColgan, said:


“This time in our lives is so unique and slowing down has proven to be a real creative force.

“These commissions give us a strong, female commentary on the pandemic – a commentary which so far seems to have been dominated by male voices.

“The twelve women have used lockdown as a way to tap into their creativity and produce empowering, thought-provoking and diverse pieces of work.

“More than ever, it’s essential we shine a spotlight on incredible creative talent and make their work as accessible as possible and it’s fantastic that we can achieve this by building on the success of last year’s RISE programme.

“It’s a clear message – things may be different right now, but there is still incredible art and culture on offer at the click of a button.”


Erika Diettes said:


“It has been an honour to be a part of this RISE artist community – we come from different parts of the world and all share the same concerns and fears in these times of Covid-19.

“Introspección deals with my personal loss and how I am coping with it during these difficult days of confinement. All I can think about is how we all can come together as artists at this moment and can try to make a difference is having empathy so we can RISE once again.”


Sharon Bailey said:


“It’s fantastic to showcase my work alongside other women. There are so few opportunities around at the moment and this support is invaluable. It helped me to continue to tell the stories of those I met during the making of my recent Home Alone project.

“When you experience my diary and film you’ll glimpse into the world of five older women, stuck at home, alone. As the lockdown starts to ease we can enter our communities again and be thankful, but I want people to remember that this won’t be the same for everyone.

“There has been wonderful support and kindness shown to our older citizens during this time by the public. I’m optimistic this will continue but much more needs to be done. Our social care system is in crisis. Things need to change.”


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