I have now finished the video piece for the exhibition and here it is.
The video is based around the five interviews I made with five members of staff / wardens at the Shropshire Regimental Museum back in February for which they chose and discussed an object each from the Museum’s collection.
The video has three elements. Firstly, the background shows my response to the objects’ narratives in the form of images. Secondly, overlaying this I am making the objects in clay in an attempt to connect with the objects and the narratives through art. Thirdly, each part of the video starts with titles which illustrate responses to the objects by members of the public in the form of adjectives and nouns (rather than art, sculpture or images).
To me, the video is about the connections between objects and history, and how we can relate to those through various means: art, images or words.
I also painted pictures of the objects and the exhibition will consist of this video, the paintings and the clay objects made for the video. The paintings and the clay reflect my response to the objects through my need to make art as a way to channel an emotional response to an experience into something tangible. I painted because that is what I do best and that is how I naturally respond to experiences. I deliberately chose clay to complement the paintings, firstly, as I wanted to experiment with a medium I hadn’t used before, and secondly, because I felt that clay was a substance I connected with the First World War. When I think of clay and the First World War I think of words such as earth, basic, hands, brown, grey, closeness, mud, damp, messy, suffocating, claustrophobic, natural, rustic, raw and harsh.
I’m hoping to exhibit the ‘words’ from the public too in some way as I find words very powerful, and I think they can be a powerful art medium, just as powerful as paint, pen or clay.
Further smaller paintings and clay replicas of the objects I encountered on my trips to visit interviewees for the History Makers project will also be in the exhibition.
I now have one month to put the exhibition together, promote it and plan the display to go in the regimental museum.