Hackney Museum. Photograph: Hackney Council

Hackney Museum is asking residents for personal objects that symbolise lockdown life for an exhibition next year featuring local stories from the pandemic.

Donations to the ‘Collecting Covid’ project can be made by anyone living, working or studying in the borough, with the museum aiming to represent the borough’s many diverse communities.

So far, submissions include identity tags for a baby born during lockdown, a vaccination vial, and a bilingual prayer book.

Town Hall culture chief Cllr Guy Nicholson said: “I hope there will be personal objects that will tell of our honesty and of our understanding of each other, objects that will represent personal and collective joy and sadness, courage and fear, strength and weakness, relief and worry. 

Out of the ManCave by Angela Groundwater. Photograph: courtesy Hackney Council

“Hackney’s communities over the generations have a reputation of responding to adversity with spirit, courage and creativity. 

“It is now our turn to record our spirit, courage and creativity into Hackney’s timeline and what better institution to lead us in this project than our very own Museum.”

The project was inspired by a display at the Museum called Out of the ManCave, which celebrates Hackney Brocals, a social club for men over the age of 50 which combats isolation by hosting local events.

The piece was created by artist Angela Groundwater, who has worked with the Brocals. 

Using artefacts from the men’s lives before and during lockdown, as well as playful, intricate patterns, Groundwater was able to tell the story of the group and their project. 

She said: “Hanging out with the Brocals and hearing their life stories, coupled with the way they dealt with lockdown, was inspiring. What struck me most was what individuals each of them are – wise, comic and full of life. 

“As a creative I feel it is up to us to reveal the beauty of age, help to promote this group to prompt further interest and expose this generation’s beauty.”

If you would like to share your stories or objects, or find out more, visit museum@hackney.gov.uk.

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