New commissions throughout year in Push Festival


Dan Hett's Closed Hands "game". Pic: HOME Manchester
Dan Hett's Closed Hands "game". Pic: HOME Manchester

This year’s Push Festival at HOME Manchester will feature six new commissions and its first, experimental, video game.

Push – HOME’s annual celebration of the North West’s creative talents – has been reimagined for 2021 to become a theme across the year, allowing work to be seen both live and digitally, despite the pandemic. 

The first commissions come from Grahem Arnefield, Emmanuel Bajiiji, Katherine Hollinson, Jenni Jackson, Holly Rush, and Hope Strickland & Jessica El Mal, whose works cover a wide range of styles, experiences and perspectives on the world.

Gaming is included in the festival for the first time with the online computer game Closed Hands, created by Manchester games studio Passenger, which was founded by artist and activist Dan Hett.

The game examines the lead-up and aftermath of a terror attack in a fictional UK city through five core characters and dozens of other lives united by the same event. The attack itself is never depicted, leaving the game to draw a picture of the reasons why it occurred and the lasting effects it had on communities and the city.

Closed Hands builds on Dan Hett’s personal experience of losing his brother Martyn in the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.

Dan said: “We’re really excited to present Closed Hands to new audiences. The story is deep and complex, and presented in a way that we hope can be explored by both games audiences and those outside it too.”

Closed Hands will be available from the HOME website from March 5.

More about the individual commissions and creatives here.