Stay Alert was made in response to the UK government’s instructions to the public during the first Covid lockdown. The early instruction was to Stay at Home, which made perfect sense. Then came the directive to Stay Alert, what did that even mean? How could we look out for an invisible virus? That made Thornton think of all the people lonely at home, twitching their curtains and looking out at the street both fearfully and for a sense of contact with other people, the same people they currently feared.
This domestic space, that was both a source of comfort and of captivity, added another layer of restrictions to family life. Many people, often women, experienced an increase in domestic tasks in order to maintain the family during this time with this additional confinement making it harder for them to respond to their other commitments. Some people were the victims of domestic abuse, trapped in their homes.
Wearing costumes fashioned from domestic materials to reflect the home, Kim created a film inspired by the concept of staying alert. Peeping through the curtains and observing any passers by, she experienced the conflicted feelings of ridiculousness, loneliness, fear and sadness.