#ItGetsLighterFromHere – spreading a little light in dark times

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Joining forces to spread a little happiness and hope on the darkest day of the year, hundreds of organisations across the Midlands will be sharing videos responding to the prompt, “It Gets Lighter From Here”. Reminding us all that these dark times will pass. 

The 21st of December is the shortest day of the year and is also the last Monday before Christmas, the start of a festive season that will be overshadowed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. On the night of the 21st – the Winter Solstice, marking the shortest day and longest night of the year – Culture Central has called on artists and cultural institutions across the Midlands to come together to provide multiple moments of happiness and hope under the banner: It Gets Lighter From Here. Visit their website to see the full list of organisations taking part.

The micro-video commissions, each no more than sixty seconds long, will be released across various social media platforms throughout the day to create a region-wide celebration of hope, optimism and possibility for the future, whilst celerbating the value in creativity and the arts.

Following an open call for submissions, the JQBID was delighted to commission Barbara Gibson and Marta Kochanek to create a 1-minute animated video responding to the prompt, It Gets Lighter From Here, and inspired by the Jewellery Quarter.

Barbara Gibson has been exhibited internationally, nationally and locally within Birmingham’s well-known galleries. Her work often uses collages of vintage magazines and illustration techniques to create socially engaged pieces, combining disparate pieces in humourous and unprecedented ways. Marta Kochanek is a multi-award-winning photography artist who has coordinated, directed and produced advertising and commercial campaign across the UK and beyond. Her photography work has been featured in galleries and exhibitions across the UK and internationally.

The resulting video below created by Barbara and Marta blends portraits of well known historical figures, with photos of workers and modern images of buildings in the Quarter. Many thanks to Anne-Marie Hayes for letting us re-use her photos of the Jewellery Quarter in this new work.


1. Joseph Gillott (Key Hill Cemetery)
2. Marie Bethell Beauclerc (Key Hill Cemetery)
3. John Baskerville (Warstone Lane Cemetery)
4. Joseph Chamberlain (Key Hill Cemetery)
5. James Watt
6. Matthew Boulton
7. George Dawson (Key Hill Cemetery)
8. Harriet Martineau (Key Hill Cemetery)
9. Constance Naden (Key Hill Cemetery)




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