The past year and everything that has come with it has proven itself to be a major adjustment to people from all walks of life, including the creatives that make up the local scene. Those in the arts, as well as small business owners, have missed gigs, exhibitions, markets, readings, and performances- but they have often proven incredibly resilient and taken this difficult situation as a challenge, finding new and creative ways to keep their art going.
The extra time a lot of us were suddenly given back in March 2020 has even resulted in new creative projects and businesses popping up- giving hope for a local creative scene more alive than ever as the world starts to make its slow paced return to some kind of normality. The Jumble Magazine has asked local creatives throughout NI/Ireland about their experiences over the past year, and how the change in pace, routine, accessibility, social life, and resources has affected how they do what they do. Over the next few days The Jumble will be platforming the voices of local creatives to share their own experiences.
Ciara Rooney is the talent behind DIY project Centre/Left/Right, since the beginning of 2020, Centre/Left/Right has released the Delay EP and two albums: 1997 and Bikes & Bridges Lead to Broken Bones. Ciara’s music spans across experimental guitar, dreamy synth wave,and hard rock. Ciara tells the Jumble how the initial lock down early last year forced her to use different tools to create a new sound:
“One thing in particular about the past year is that the periods of lock down introduced more genres into my music. When I returned home to Northern Ireland in the panic of March 2020, I was under the impression that a lot of us were: that is, I thought that lock down would only last a couple of weeks and things would go back to normal. I thought that I would fly back to England soon enough, and so I never had the foresight to bring my recording equipment with me.
This lack of equipment was something that I initially thought of as a set back, but it turned out to be a good thing. In fact, those circumstances were how my second album “1997” came about in June while I was stuck at home. ‘1997’ is a synthwave album, and it is entirely created using only my laptop and MIDI. This unexpected situation is what pushed me to expand the genres I compose in, and I’m no longer limited to just guitar based music.”
Handmade Irish Jewellery business Le Chéile (Pronounced: le Kayla) beautiful handmade pieces inspired by modern Irish culture. The brand was created by Cara Mahon and Niamh McCluskey, Niamhs background in fashion and women’s wear and Cara’s degree in Silversmithing & Jewellery makes them are the perfect team to create gorgeous rings, earrings, and necklaces inspired mainly by Irish women’s names. Their brand was a product of their own determination and the past year of lock down’s, they spoke to The Jumble about their experience.
“Before lock down we were both working different jobs. I (Niamh) had an admin job and Cara was working in a jewelers. We talked about doing jewellery together before Covid, then lock down hit and both thought it was now or never.
During lock down there were some days we had so many ideas on what we wanted to do, but other days felt more like a cognitive fog, which seemed pretty universal back in the early days of lock down.
One benefit of the lock down for us was that it gave us time to think about what we wanted our business to be – we had more time to think through colour schemes, brand image and products. It also gave Cara time to teach me how to make jewellery; a skill that takes a lot of time, and one that I would never have had if it wasn’t for lock down.
We think this past year has changed the way people shop. People are thinking more about what they buy, where it comes from and who is making it. Which is great to see!
We’re so overwhelmed with the amount of support from family, friends, and our customers. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Le Chéile!”
Check out more handmade Jewellry by Le Chéile on their website.