Back to Ours commission invites city’s cast aways to make their own ‘Wilson’ in lockdown

Back to Ours Wilson
Some of the first #backtowilson characters made by friends in lockdown.

Back to Ours is working with visual artist Sharon Darley, inviting people to create a new character in their homes while in self-isolation and lockdown. 

Sharon is well known in Hull, having produced two of the iconic community-led arts installations during Hull UK City of Culture 2017 – I Wish to Communicate with You and Terrace Enders.

Drawing inspiration from the iconic movie Cast Away – which sees Tom Hanks stranded on a desert island and making Wilson from a volleyball to keep him company – the idea for the project came when Sharon accidentally made her own character at home.

Sharon Darley's #backtowilson
Artist Sharon Darley’s #backtowilson

She explains: “I’m living in isolation in a flat with no family, no pets, no garden, and no real direct human contact for very long periods of time on a daily basis. I felt lonely much quicker than I’d expected I would, missing physical contact with those I love. 

“One day, mooching about my flat looking for things to entertain myself with, I unconsciously, ended up making my own ‘Wilson’ with what I had to hand. I didn’t realise he was a Wilson until I stepped back to admire my work. He remains with me just as he is and makes me smile. 

“I’ve not started talking to him yet, but there’s plenty of time for that!”

A number of Wilsons have already been made by Back to Ours Hub members, and they’re asking people to get involved and share their photos on their social media channels. 

Nesta Nelson, Back to Ours Producer, says: “We just love the idea of people creating a character with what’s in the home, garage, loft, garden or anywhere else they get their hands on stuff!

“There’s no age limit on being part of the project, and people might want to make a representation of themselves, someone they’re missing at the moment, or a completely new character. 

“We’re just asking people to be creative with what they’ve got, and enjoy it.”

The non-rules for making a Wilson are: 

  1. There’s no rules; 
  2. You can take as long – or as little – time as you like; 
  3. You can only use what you’ve already got at home; 
  4. Your Wilson can represent anyone; 
  5. Wilson needs a name;
  6. It’s not competitive; 
  7. Wilson can be any size or shape; 
  8. You can choose to decorate – or not; 
  9. Anyone can take part, from 0-100+. 

Once you’ve finished your Wilson, Sharon’s asking people to share them to the Back to Ours Facebook page (@BacktoOursHull), twitter or Insta (@btohull) pages with the hashtag #BacktoWilson.

[Christina Lewis – Back to Ours]

Please consider becoming a H.I.T. Patron to help us grow.