A local street artist has set up lifesize ‘like’ icons around the island to encourage islanders to go on an adventure without their phones and ‘find love’.
Every Friday, Express presents a selection of online and offline exhibitions, performances, workshops, events and other historic and creative content to help islanders get their weekly dose of culture.
Here's this week's offering...
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Local graphic designer, illustrator and street artist, James Carter, also known as Midnight Industries, has disseminated lifesize ‘like’ icons around the island to encourage people to go on a digital-free adventure.
The project started a while ago when James was looking for a creative release. Used to digital and graphic work, he started working with broken skateboards and any sort of wood he could find, to create something physical.
“I was working with Arthouse Jersey on ‘Make it up with Midnight’,” he said. “I needed a hands on approach. I did not know what I wanted to do but I felt something in me I needed to get out.”
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‘Find Love with Midnight’ was originally set to be part of an exhibition with Will Bertram and Ben Robertson at Link Gallery. Called ‘Keep it simple’, the show would have seen islanders pick up a map so that they could explore the different locations without their phones.
“I wanted people to break out from digital screens and go back to enjoying their environment,” James said.
“We all need to take time away from devices and screens which have now become integral part of our lives. We have kind of become addicted to them and are constantly looking for those miniature hits of endorphins, which is an unhealthy dependency.
“It’s time to break free from your digital shackles.”
With the exhibition being cancelled, James has created a digital version of the map and a website but the goal remains the same: encouraging islanders to fell in love with the island all over again.
“Our island is steeped in beauty, it’s not just the beautiful scenery but also beautiful people and amazing businesses,” James said.
“We are so lucky to live on an island like this. This is all about appreciating it.”
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All 12 locations are easy to find and James will be adding more in the future. Islanders who do snap pictures of the signs are invited to tag @midnight_ind.
“There are some classics like Elizabeth Castle and Bonne Nuit, and places that have a significant meaning to me,” James said. “Bonne Nuit is where my wife and I went on our first date. But there will be value in it for everybody, it’s all about your journey and your life."
Jersey Heritage has launched its first series of podcasts to enable listeners to join expert guides and discover intriguing stories about historic sites and collections at a time when it is difficult to visit places due to current restrictions.
The first of the three recordings, which are sponsored by Benest & Syvret, focuses on the Cold War Bunker at Springfield. It takes listeners on a tour of the bunker and shares stories from those who have first-hand experience of working in the bunker during the 1980s, including of the fateful night in 1986 when the Chernobyl accident threated to turn a nuclear nightmare into reality.
In the second podcast, listeners can discover the history of the landmark Radio Tower at La Corbiere, while the third podcast takes listeners behind the scenes at Jersey Archive, looking at some of the incredible stories it holds.
“We are excited to be launching our first podcasts as a new way to engage with audiences and share some fascinating stories from Jersey’s past,” Lucy Layton, Jersey Heritage’s Outreach Curator, said. “This seems especially important in the current circumstances when we are not able to welcome visitors to our sites in the usual way.”
The podcasts are free to access and available from usual podcast providers. Nina Benest, from Benest & Syvret, said she hoped they would “provide access to our heritage during the current restrictions and open up new heritage places for people to enjoy”.
Pictured: Maillards is hoping to create a book collecting islanders' memories of the Occupation.
Maillards Funeral Directors is looking for islanders’ personal stories, poems, anecdotes and memories from the early 1940s for a book about those who lived through the Occupation.
The book titled ‘Occupation Memories’ will be produced to mark the 76th anniversary of the Liberation.
It will follow a set of themes and those wishing to send a submission may wish to choose one or several of those. The funeral firm has provided a list of themes to act as prompts, but islanders are welcome to share any observations or incidents that do not fall into the categories.
The ideas include life before the war, evacuation stories and life as an evacuee, life under German rule, business during the war, landscapes and fortresses, wartime food and drink as well as Liberation day memories and life after the Occupation.
Maillards, who are sponsoring the project with the help of Alpha Print, have asked local author Penny Byrne to put together the book. 1,500 copies will be produced, 1,000 of which will be donated to the local community, including those whose submissions have been included.
Pictured: From llfe before the war, to Liberation day memories and life after the Occupation, the themes in the book will be varied.
The remaining 500 copies will be on sale during Liberation week at a price of £9.99 each, with funds going towards the firm’s first ‘Celebrating Life initiative: ‘Maillards Make a Wish’ which will fund wishes for those over 60.
“The Occupation Memories book forms part of the Maillards Celebrating Life initiative – that will see Maillards sponsor and support local people and causes,” Julian De La Cour, Managing Funeral Director, Maillards Funeral Directors, said.
“The initiative is designed to act as a beacon of positivity for islanders over the age of 60. We believe age is just a number and our aim is to make later life extraordinary.
“As funeral directors, we hear every day second-hand accounts of how Islanders have lived extraordinary lives and had extraordinary experiences which, so often, live only in the memories of close friends and family.
“This book is an attempt to distil and preserve some of those important experiences in way which will work to educate and inform future generations.”
Islanders wishing to take part can contact Project Coordinator, Aaron Labey by phone 07797836845 or by email.
Video: Lucy Le Lievre, Bronte Markwick and Lucy Abraham created the music video for the single.
Local musician Monty Taft started the year with a bang with the release of his new single ‘Someone Sober’.
Written before the pandemic, the song addresses the loneliness Monty felt when he moved back to the island, after living on the mainland.
“It’s a very honest song about want for affection, love and friendship that all too often can be fuelled by alcohol and a partying kind of mentality,” Monty said.
“I found that this only helped to dilute real relations with people. Towards the end of the track, I wanted to talk about this in a more whole encompassing way for people my age. It’s far too common for late teens and early 20’s to feel this kind of isolation, loss of direction and struggle on mental health.”
Monty recorded the song with some of his friends at RYP Recordings in London, “an amazing little studio with heaps of character”, about a year ago before travel became an issue.
“It’s a studio where I felt immediately settled in and after having recorded with the guys there before it was such an easy and comfortable environment which was so important,” Monty said.
“We started in the studio following a demo I had made of the song at home in my garage where I do most of my writing. It’s super exciting to watch a track that started just you and an acoustic guitar really come to life and become this full hard hitting and lively song you imagined.”
Having done a lot of writing in the past year, Monty says he has “stocked up” on some material for next releases. “It’s potentially some of my best writing yet in my opinion,” he confessed.
Due to travel restrictions still being in place, Monty says he will need to take a different approach when it comes to recording his next few singles. “Jersey’s got a small but super talented scene of musicians/producers who I’ve got to know quite well, so this may be time to create something really homegrown,” he said.
“I’ve still not entirely worked out my plan yet but I have a good idea and it’ll be an exciting challenge taking things in a new direction to what I’m used to. I guess we’re all just going to have to wait and see!”
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