Answering Questions

Incubation: Hope

2 Minute Read

With the culmination of Incubation’s Daily Questions, filled with such generous, personal reflections that look towards the future with hope. I spoke with three people about our hope-objects. In these conversations, we asked each other questions about our hope-objects while we sculpted one together out of clay.

I want to now share with you some of the questions I was asked, and answer them here with the same spirit of openness and generosity.

A postcard that says "Nick, imagine your hope is a precious object... What does your hope-object smell like? This is an invitation to pause and reflect on your sense of hope." Underneath in the Incubation logo.

I really enjoy this question, because, for me, the smell isn’t just linked to the actual object itself but the things I associate with hope. Smell has a wonderful ability to whisk us back to memories: they’re an easy link into a memory of a hopeful time. I always return to the sea in a time of need: it is always a very rejuvenating place for me. Most of my fondest memories take place on the beaches of East Anglia, from Maldon to Gorleston. I can vividly recall falling asleep to the sound of waves outside my family’s caravan, feeling as if I was being rocked into a slumber.

My hope-object smells of salt.

I set myself a plan when I started the project. Following the humbling response to the Daily Questions, I will now take some time to absorb and reflect on each answer shared, and I expect they will each filter into the story told at the final event in big and small ways: they will populate the world. It will be a fusion of performance and engagement. I think Daily Questions could trigger a new relationship between audience and performance, taking place between purchasing a ticket and the storytelling event itself. Each reflection might adorn the set, or be projected throughout the foyer as a provocation for the story itself…

They will soak into the whole event.

I have great faith in humanity and it’s deep connection with hope. There is a paper that argues hope is a coping mechanism for humanity; it’s what keeps us going forwards. In April 2020, when things looked so unrecognisable, I realised that once again it was hope that was pushing us all through, and that is what sparked this project. Each of us waking up, hoping that by the time we went to bed things would be easier than when we started the day. And if they weren’t, we started again.

I think hope, and a hope-object, is what makes us human.