Homemakers is series of new commissions inviting artists to create new works at home, for an audience who are also at home. These fully funded commissions are an offer to groundbreaking artists to challenge the definition of “live performance” – whether through live streaming, recordings, games, interactive stories, personal encounters, or something completely different.
The Coliseum has commissioned Associate Artist Hafsah Aneela Bashir to create a project as part of Homemakers. Hafsah is a poet, playwright and performer and founder and co-director of Outside the Frame Arts.
Hafsah is creating the Poetry Health Service as a tool for healing. Using both her own poetry and gifted poems, she will provide poetry panaceas by the people for the people. Emphasising the importance of art to our mental and emotional health, the PHS will be accessible both online and via a dedicated phoneline where people will be able to respond to the service. The idea came from Insta Live readings Hafsah has been delivering every day at 2.30pm since the lockdown.
Hafsah commented: “I’m so excited to receive a Homemakers commission – one that will draw on my lockdown connections made with strangers on insta Live through our simple love for poetry. This is the beautiful birth of the Poetry Health Service.”
Coliseum Artistic Director Chris Lawson added: “We’re delighted to be working in association with our Greater Manchester neighbours HOME. We feel the PHS project, led by Hafsah, is a vital and necessary artistic service that we are proud to support.”
The first Homemakers works by Bryony Kimmings, Ad Infinitum, Plaster Cast Theatre and Chris Thorpe & Yusra Warsama, commissioned by HOME, were announced in April and are now on sale via the HOME website.
The Coliseum’s commission joins commissioned works from ARC Stockton – Vici Wreford-Sinnott; Cambridge Junction – Zoe Svendsen and Hannah Jane Walker; Candoco Dance Company – Jo Bannon; Chinese Arts Now – Naomi Sumner Chan; Fermynwoods Contemporary Art – Anna Brownsted; Lime Pictures – Seiriol Davies and Matthew Blake; Music Theatre Wales and London Sinfonietta – Elayce Ismail and Alex Ho; and Z-Arts and STUN – Chad Taylor, expanding the Homemakers project’s scale nationwide.
This is an Oldham Coliseum Theatre Homemakers commission, in partnership with HOME, Manchester