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Check out the latest exhibition at the HAC

An exhibition of photography and poetry focused on the experience of living through the pandemic opens this week at the Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine. ‘Another Time of Being’ is a collaborative exhibition featuring photography by Mandy Edwards and poetry by Libbie Fisher.

Taking place in the Harbour Arts Centre, North Ayrshire’s hub for culture and arts, the exhibition will run from Wednesday 19 January until Saturday 5 March. Entry is free.

Mandy Edwards is a documentary photographer responsible for a string of projects and exhibitions across Scotland over the last 15 years.

Libbie Fisher is a writer and former teacher, born in Paisley but long resident in Toronto, who moved back to Scotland just before the first lockdown began.

Together they have produced a body of work that addresses their experience of the past 18 months, and that of the village of West Kilbride.

Photographer Mandy shares: “If I look back, photography has always been in my life and my medium is documentary because I love stories – sharing people’s stories and documenting communities are at the root of my practice.

“From taking photographs of the elderly and shielding through the windows of their houses to the stark imagery of empty chairs, socially distanced in the village hall, the Covid-19 pandemic provided me with inspiration from my immediate environment as – due to restrictions – I could only capture what was happening on my doorstep.”

And, one of the exhibitions’ most powerful images is the joyful embrace of poet Libbie and her sister Margaret hugging for the first time on the beach when restrictions ended.

Writer Libbie Fisher used the power of words to observe, reflect and respond to the challenges of the pandemic.

Libbie comments: “When Covid kicked in, I was literally writing responses to what I was seeing, what I was feeling, in the form of poetry.

“Mandy was getting her images through the windows and on doorsteps and I was writing my reactions, responses and feelings to them from home as we really couldn’t get together to collaborate in person due to the restrictions.

“Working on this project was a bit of serendipity, Mandy was a local photographer and I was a local writer, so it made sense to touch base and create something special for our local community to enjoy after the lockdown was over and everything went back to normal.”

And even though things didn’t quite work out that way as the pandemic continues on, the duo are proud to showcase what they have created at the HAC for 2022.

Libbie continues: “When we took a step back to look at what we created, it was amazing how our visual and literal responses to the pandemic just gelled together, because there were reflections in my words and there were visual reflections in what Mandy had captured in her photos and that is what has really pulled the works of ‘Another Time of Being’ together.”

Production costs of the work were part funded by North Ayrshire Council’s participatory budgeting fund, with further support from Gallery Sometimes.

The exhibition was previously shown at the Barony Centre, West Kilbride, but new images are included for the run at the HAC.

For more information on the ‘Another Time of Being’ exhibition visit the HAC website here.

Entry is free and face masks must be worn indoors (unless exempt). We do recommend checking the HAC website for opening hours before visiting as these may be subject to change due to Covid restrictions still being in place.

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