Shelter & Place

Leon Butler & Peter Power, commissioned by Cork Midsummer Festival & Carlow Arts Festival

Shelter & Place


From 3pm, 10 June

Cork Midsummer Festival together with Carlow Arts Festival invite you to share your Lockdown Environments, as artists Peter Power and Leon Butler build a digital monument to our unseen stories and quarantine spaces.

This beautifully political project allows us a glimpse of the lock-down rooms others have inhabited during this time – abstracted but recognisable. Examining isolation, survival, connection and quiet inequalities, Shelter and Place is a mutual world built from our hidden moments, collected in virtual space in the absence of the real.

Artists Leon Butler and Peter Power have been researching ways to allow the audience to upload 3D imagery  using freely available software from their own place of lockdown and share it with the public. This  in-development  stage of the work describes the journey towards capturing and sharing personal isolated  stories of place and space the pandemic has foregrounded.

Shelter and Place is an interactive experience that mixes location mapping, spatial audio and dream-like vignettes into an open source exploration of our private environments.

Explore Our Digital Spaces
Each link below will bring you to a different digital space to explore when clicked. Please see guidance text for usage of digital links to spaces below.

Not All Isolation is Equal

Only Walls to Guide Us

Shelter + Place

I am Myself and I

Live is Alive they say

Dance like Everyone is Watching

Note - this site has heavy processing requirements, please close other programmes on computer or phone to view.

Guidance Text for Usage of Links to Digital Spaces

Please allow time for experience to load. You will be prompted by a grey start button (Desktop/VR) or Red Start Button (Mobile) when experience has loaded.

DESKTOP: Once you are in the experience, use the mouse to guide the cursor over the start button (A grey box with the word ‘Start’ glowing in green. Click this) To look around, click your mouse and drag. To move in the scene use the W (forward), A (left), S (back), and D (right) keys on your keyboard.

MOBILE DEVICE: Once you have pressed start and are in the experience, please hold the phone still. You will see a grey box (sometimes hard to see) in front of you. Please tap this grey box with your finger and it should disappear instantly. This will launch audio. To look around, move your mobile device.

It is not possible to walk around the scene on a mobile device. To walk around please visit the experience on Desktop or headset.

HEADSET: Once you are in the experience, look at the start button, so that the circle of your gaze hits the button. To look around rotate your headset. To move in the scene, walk in the confines of your VR space.

Share Your Lockdown Environment

We’re inviting you to share your lockdown environments for this exciting 3D digital visual arts project, which aims to build a digital monument to our unseen stories and quarantine spaces.

Submit your interest to the artists by clicking here.


The name of the work comes from a play on the American governmental advice during crises to seek safety in the buildings you already occupy, rather than to evacuate to community shelters. The Covid-19 global pandemic saw many of us being isolated in this way to our domestic spaces, where our refuge has become a prison.

Yet our experiences of isolation have not been equal. Domestic environments are not equal.  The virus may infect indiscriminately, but it’s ability to do so has followed the well worn architectures of discrimination. Economic, social, age, race, geography, gender; all these factors and more have been exposed as causative agents in how the illness has spread. Through this we have found ourselves asking what exactly we value, who exactly we are, and how exactly does the society we have built around ourselves protects us all.

Digital media has kept us connected but through a form of false intimacy. The urge to be together has been overwhelming for some, too much for others. We have had the scope of our universes reduced to the size of a house, a garden, an apartment, a room. The loss of these freedoms here has been mutual, but the scale of those losses has not.

In this period of global vulnerability priorities have shifted where more meaningful exchanges of ideas and experience are now as vital as ever. By creating a dialogue between each other using freely available technologies, we can come to know one another, to be with one another, to stand in each other’s worlds.

From these places a beautifully political act can happen; to share shelter with strangers so that we can know them in ways we never have, where unseen stories become seen and we discover a sense of place together in a world that asks us to be divided.