liberty uk Corby
the empty chairs
I was commissioned to create a series of installations for the Liberty UK festival in Halton, Corby and Leicester in 2021 to 2022.
About Liberty UK festival
Liberty UK festival is a celebration of freedom and democracy, which explores everyday activism and our collective power to make a change. Special thanks to the Liberty EU partnership for input into these commissions and connecting the opportunities to young artists based across Europe, and to the support of Halton Borough Council.
The Empty Chairs - Liberty UK Corby
The Empty Chairs has a long history of resistance, rebellion, control and absence. It suggests the absence of humans, a character to occupy an otherwise empty space. But it is also about hope and opportunity - to open up and join a conversation, to share your stories and listen to the stories of others. An opportunity to participate, be involved, work together and support each other.
From an interview with Liberty UK
What is the inspiration behind the installation?
The installation work I am creating for Liberty UK is titled “The Empty Chairs”. How one defines the words “Empty Chairs” is often based on their upbringing, stories and experiences. It is about resistance, rebellion, control and absence, but also about hope and opportunity, about taking part, inviting someone to be involved, sharing your stories and listening to others. The list goes on and on, and I’m constantly learning and being inspired by what these words mean to people from different backgrounds.
For me, when I see the words “Empty Chairs”, it reminds me of Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, but he was serving a prison sentence for subversion in China, therefore he was represented by an empty chair at the award ceremony.
Tell us more about the group you have met to learn more about Corby:
I met with members of a group called the S.W.A.G (Stevie Way Art Group). It is a self-supporting group of people living in the Corby area that has been running for about 14 years. It was lovely to meet a local group and to be inspired by their stories and experiences.