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Two deaf women separated by lockdown unite through sign language in poetic projection.

Sign Night is a poetic conversation in sign language between two star crossed lovers, projected onto buildings in central Bristol. The deaf performers share their dreams for the future from building to building, across the night sky. Sign Night has been created by artist Cathy Mager and is inspired by the balcony performers of Wuhan and Lombardy, this time using British Sign Language (BSL) – the vital, visual and versatile language of British deaf communities.

Intriguing and sensual, the film explores communication barriers caused by mask-wearing, and the social isolation which has been experienced by many deaf people during the pandemic. Starring Vilma Jackson and Sophie Stone, the work brings to life the vision of artist and director Cathy Mager, who worked with the team of deaf actors remotely in lockdown to generate the performance inspired by her own poetry.

The performers were recorded in a socially distanced film shoot in a green screen studio. Projection specialist Jon Street collaborated with Cathy to edit the footage with 3D Projection Mapping software and visual effects. Finally, the footage was projected on to buildings at Bridewell Island in Bristol over the course of one night.

Viewers have the option of closed captions via the subtitles menu.

Filmed in Lockdown is a series of new works of literary, musical, visual, and performance arts, commissioned for Culture in Quarantine by Arts Council England and BBC Arts.

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6 minutes

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