Here is the collaboratively photo-illustrated story created by our contributors to the HOME project. In response to this year’s Brighton Festival theme of ‘home’ we initiated a collaborate submissions project exploring collective experiences of returning home, each being an emotive and personal journey we all can relate to. Writer John Morrison wrote us a short story about his experience returning home and our talented participants each responded to a section photographically to create this collectively photo-illustrated piece. The results are below…
Thanks to all who contributed.
On The Park Benches We Once Ruled
by John Morrison
The streetlights shine differently here, weaker. The rain yawns down. Life is slower. Nothing much changes.
Home pulls at my heart. A familiar foggy periphery between affection and depression.
That enduring smell. Cold and earthy. Dangerous and real. I shut my eyes and breathe it in. Fill up my lungs, deep and oversentimental. But something’s not right.
Laura Giorgi Monfort
The hours-long journey home. Jutting valleys, intense crags, hostile fells. Landmarks deep-rooted in memory. Familiar sights burrowed in a dark corner of my mind.
Ariane Johnston Breen
Pete F Davies
I let the touch of wet soil, twig and bracken slip through my fingers. My once-strong and proud accent fades by the day.
How many new generations have lived how we once did? Is ours a well-trodden path? Under the same stars. On the park benches we once ruled.
Depressed turf and clogged copse. Smoky mosaics cling by rusty fingertips. This temperate pocket, a place I don’t often visit.
Like ghosts dancing through the night, I remember bonfires in the woods, knock-a-door-run, school trips, swimming lessons, jumpers for goalposts, tiptoeing along canal locks.
Pete F Davies
Throwing bags of stale bread at ducks, throwing Poohsticks from the bridge, throwing stones at the old factory windows, throwing my first punch.
I hope to recognise a face. Pray for a nod or smile. All I receive are hostile stares. Wounding. Expected.
No family spare room or friend’s sofa. Just me. On these cobbled forgotten streets. Everything shut up and tucked in for the night. Why have I returned? To bid farewell.
Joelle de Vries
Once again a big thank you to everyone involved, we will be printing the full illustrated story which will be available to buy soon. Watch this space…