First commissioned as part of Derby Feste 2020, The Derby Witness is poetry and street art project created in response to the first Coronavirus lockdown. Comprising of 49 lines of text, submitted by Derby and Derbyshire residents, summing up their thoughts and experiences during this time. One line of text for each day of the first lockdown.

The aspect of the project I proudest of, is shamefully the thing I have become most immune to, which is the impact of the lines of text included in the work. One of the joys of setting up for the Cabin Fever residency was seeing and hearing the reaction of people as they walked past the space, discovering line after line and beginning to discuss it, sharing their thoughts and taking pictures for their social media.

The lines represent a snap-shot of a conversation or a fragment of thought, and during the residency these lines will be sprayed over and over again, spilling out onto the ground surrounding the space, building up ‘the great cloud of witness’ (Hebrews 12:1) which inspired the work.

It is a divisive piece dealing with a difficult subject matter, but I hope during the residency people who see the work will find a line of text they can relate to, and hopefully be inspired to add their lines to the project.

Care. Cry. Fight. Survive. #TheDerbyWitness

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