Lockdown Exhibition Opens at Llandudno Museum
Opening August 7th just as lockdown restrictions start to ease here in Wales, Llandudno Museum and Gallery invites you to walk back in time and look at the first lockdown in Conwy County through the eyes of local children. The voices of children are often absent from historical events, are written after the fact, or are written from the perspective of an adult. With this in mind, Llandudno Museum and Gallery initiated a project called Living History: Lockdown to collect first-hand childhood experiences during the first Covid lockdown. On May 26th, 2020, the museum sent out an exhibition call to schools throughout the area asking them to collect lockdown experiences through memoir, poetry, art, or video. Six schools responded: Ysgol John Bright, Ysgol Tudno, Ysgol St George Abergele, Ysgol Eirias, Blessed William Davies, and Ysgol Porth y Felin.
From letters about parents losing jobs, to fear monsters that gave primary school students colours rather than words to capture their feelings, the innovations of young people and their teachers are on display now and will be archived by Conwy Archives for research and for future historians. What is notable about this collection is that rather than just recording negative experiences, these pieces also show joy in more family time, daily family exercise, more sleep, and a focus on creative learning from home.
Young people are at the heart of this exhibition in the Gwynt y Môr Gallery. This exhibition space was made possible with funding from Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm Community Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The exhibition was designed and created by some of Llandudno Museum’s current placement students. The exhibition includes space for visitors to write down and add their own memories of lockdown or to look at the collection from the eyes of a historian 100 years from now and identify symbols and situations that will one day lose their immediate context. The exhibition also includes photos and videos donated by local people and businesses. From Paul Simon’s introduction to “Bridge over Troubled Water” sung by NHS staff and captured by Venue Cymru, to Paul Levy’s short documentary on how the Great Orme goats went viral, Living History: Lockdown captures the history of childhood experiences in a community working together towards a new future.