A Letter to my Love
Community Engagement Project
Commissioned by hArtslane Project Space
Participatory exhibition hArtslane and The Genderhouse Festival 2020-present
How to process difficult feelings? How can we acknowledge and heal from loss? What roles can the arts play in facilitating a dialogue about grief? How can we open up to empathy and come together to feel with others? These are some of the questions present at the 'Letter to my Love' Community Engagement Project and Exhibition.
A Letter to my love is a delicate examination of saying the things we wanted to say, but could not, and give room for processing grief, loss, and healing. This project seeks to create a platform for connection, creativity, and self-expression.
Members of the public are invited to write a letter to someone who they have lost in their life and express all the things they might have wanted to say but never had the chance to. New submitted letters feed into the exhibition each time and the video installation keeps on evolving as the artist responds to the letter-writing experience through embodied investigation and imagery.
This project begun during covid-lockdown 2019. Dagmara posted 1000 letters in her local area in New Cross Gate, London with invitations to participate in a letter-writing project and an exhibition at hArts lane Gallery involving all the letters and a video letter to Dagmara's father, while she was an artist in residence at hARTslane Gallery. The letter call-out was a delicate invitation to write a letter to a loved one, who you have lost in your life and expresses the things you might have wanted to say but were not able to say. It can be a long letter or a short letter and is open to anyone of all ages.
The letter writing project is reaching out especially to those who have experienced loss during the time of the pandemic and more broadly who have lost people in their lives without the opportunity to have said goodbye, and sometimes it is difficult to say the things we really need to say to the people we most love.
The period of the lockdown has been for many a time for challenging isolation and an amplification of our inner worlds, which opened the opportunity to be closer with oneself, away from outer distractions and closer to feelings present. This is not always easy and especially where difficult feelings emerge.
Written letters were posted, collected, and displayed in an exhibition at hARTslane Gallery twice at two different points in-between 2 lockdowns and as part of The Genderhouse Festival in 2021.