Hide&Seek has created an unusual and absorbing web experience to help promote the new Film4 feature documentary, Dreams of a Life, which tells the sad and shocking story of the life and death of Joyce Vincent. The site features text from A L Kennedy, and asks us to reflect on questions of life, love and friendship…
Joyce Vincent was found dead in her bedsit in Wood Green, London in 2006, three years after she had died. What makes her story particularly shocking is that she was young, only 38, and far from being a recluse, had once been a popular and bubbly figure, who had hung out with pop stars and had a wide group of friends. The Film4 documentary charts the story of Vincent’s life, and features contributions from old friends reflecting on their relationship with her, and on the manner in which she died.
Vincent’s story touches a chord not only due to its poignancy, but also because it represents a fear many of us have: of being forgotten and dying alone. Hide&Seek’s website explores these feelings, but in a highly sensitive and immersive manner. Kennedy has crafted a series of questions, many very personal and occasionally uncomfortable, that aim to draw out our true feelings about friendship, and of loneliness. Along the way, she (in the guise of the website’s voice) offers up her own opinions on these subjects, encouraging the user to continue in the experience.
The text occasionally makes reference to Vincent, and to how she died, and is accompanied by a series of images by Lottie Davies that reflect time passing, to give a sense of how much time passed before Vincent was found. At its core the website asks how much we expose our true feelings to people, a central question that Vincent’s story raises too.
The site requires time and concentration to engage with, but rewards those that join in with a thought-provoking and emotional experience: something that is rarely found in an advertising campaign. It can be found online at dreamsofyourlife.com, and can also be experienced at a mobile touring installation that will take place in venues in Manchester, Sheffield and London from next week. The Dreams of a Life film is released in cinemas from December 16.