Hold Me Dear
Hold Me Dear is a primarily online platform for sharing the personal stories and photographs of the places people around the world treasure most. The project was founded in 2014 by Jenny Elliott - Curatorial Director at HERE+NOW. Together these visual and textual submissions form a collection of poignant personal stories, beautiful images, and nostalgic memories displayed as both an online curated gallery and occasional physical exhibitions.
As HERE+NOW we also use Hold Me Dear as an engagement tool for workshops and physical exhibitions in specific local places. This allows us to target communities of interest around a certain place and give people a voice and a visual way of talking about places and sharing these with one another. Together, our Hold Me Dear exhibitions, workshops, and online participation are useful as a way to start conversations, voice memories and reveal people’s aspirations about a local place.
These typically culminate in either an exhibition (outdoor or indoor) with accompanying launch event, and/or an online gallery specific to that project or place. This allows the broadest and most diverse group of people to engage in the project and share their feelings, aspirations or memories about specific places within a neighbourhood or area. This might be along a certain theme for a particular project, or refined to a specific area.
Hold Me Dear is a curated project, but with a deliberately open and inclusive ethos. Any individual worldwide can submit a photograph and 50 words about a place that means a lot to them to be featured in the online gallery. In addition to the online gallery Hold Me Dear has occasional physical exhibitions.
These have included the 'A Feeling of Connection to Place' exhibition curated by HERE+NOW at Tent Gallery, Edinburgh, an outdoor Hold Me Dear community photography exhibition in Rodney St tunnel, Edinburgh as part of City Link Festival and for which HERE+NOW won the 2016 Scottish Design Award for Regeneration, exhibitions at The Biscuit Factory and as part of Hidden Door Festival in Edinburgh, a collaboration with New Architects Melbourne in 2014 for a gallery style exhibition and event, and an evolving participatory outdoor exhibition at Testing Grounds community arts venue in Melbourne.
Find out more about our work and projects.