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Our Plague Year: Nick Burton

Our Plague Year was commissioned by HOME during our closure period. Conceived by artist and illustrator, Nick Burton, Our Plague Year is a digital comic and an alternative retelling of the Eyam Plague of 1665-66.

The weekly comic strip soon gathered thousands of subscribers including international audiences.

This exhibition presents an opportunity to get closer to the first weekly episodes and exclusive new material.

Our Plague Year shares a story of self-isolation and social distancing, told through the eyes of fictional characters. This contemporary narrative explores the many facets of human behaviour in the midst of a crisis. Fear, anger, paranoia, bravery and hope.

Let us take you back to 1665. A plague creeps ever towards a rural English
village, Eyam, in Derbyshire.

An isolated village in lockdown brings out the worst and the best in its people (mostly the worst). Wise woman Granny Dankworth, speaks a muddled truth but holds no authority within the village hierarchy. Village gossip, George Gribble, blames the fairies for all misfortune, while young Godfrey Berrycloth, confined to a wheelchair, could be best positioned to ride out the inconvenience – his rich interior world within a moment’s reach…

In which characters will you recognise yourself? What similarities exist
between their world and ours?

About the artist:

Nick Burton is a Manchester born illustrator and storyteller. He spent the majority of his life in Canada (Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto), but for the past eight years has been living in Salford, England. His illustrations and comics have featured in Wired MagazineThe New York TimesRide JournalGQ and others. He was a finalist in HOME’s first Manchester Open and updates his Instagram feed on a frustratingly intermittent basis. www.nickburtondraws.com

Image: Our Plague Year, Nick Burton, 2020