Fibre Soundscape - recording the impact of Covid lockdown on women from divers backgrounds living in West Yorkshire

FIBRE

The word fibre has many different meanings and connotations: a natural or synthetic filament that may be spun into yarn, or used in fibre optics; it is the narrow elongated thick-walled cell used to create our muscle fibre; it has also come to represent notions of a moral adhesive, binding and uniting our social groups in times of crisis.

During the Covid-19 lockdown verd de gris arts have been these exploring notions of connectivity: weaving together threads of creativity (both physically and virtually) with sound artist and composer Nina Perry, poet Katie Atkinson and cellist Helen Thatcher. The result, FIBRE, is an eloquent and moving soundpoem which captures something of the extraordinary times we have all been living through.

Created over a period of 9 months of lockdown from recorded voice messages on their phones, it features the poetry, the musings, the voices of local women from a range of cultures and backgrounds in West Yorks as they move through the darkest of times under Covid, to the re-emergence of hope.

At the heart of FIBRE is ONE VOICE, a group of local women representing the varied social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds of women in Calderdale. All of these women are passionate about the arts and self- expression. They are also passionate about what they can do together to increase opportunities for local women through creative engagement. FIBRE is about exploring and reflecting on how art can be responsive to, and representative of our ‘over-looked’ communities.

Verd de gris’ work is about using creativity to help shape group dynamic and mutual support, as well as offering opportunities for local people to engage the wider community in an open, creative conversation about issues that matter to them. In this piece we wanted to show how the arts can be applied to both support positive mental health, and use digital / online ‘spaces’ to offer up new possibilities and new forms of communication and conversation.

Fibre is funded by emergency grants from Arts Council England and The National Lottery Community Fund