Things from the First World War

I am in my final year on the Foundation Degree in Contemporary Art Practice course at Shrewsbury College and this website records my thoughts, research and progress with respect to my final project which is about things from the First World War, such as this tin hat which is in the Shropshire Regimental Museum in Shrewsbury.

A tin hat from the First World War

A tin hat from the First World War

The idea for this project came about after I was approached by a local National Lottery funded project called the History Makers which is a project which started in 2014 and due to finish late in 2015 enabling local people to explore their heritage through a digital collection of memorabilia and artefacts using video to record oral history through interviews. The project will encompass interviews carried out by school pupils with local people who have a connection to the First World War through an object. The project will culminate in a travelling exhibition and a website and the website will include an animation. I have been commissioned to create the animation based around the project.

This has led me to investigate further the topic of objects and the First World War and it led me to visit the Shropshire Regimental Museum, which has an impressive collection of objects from that era. I want to find out what objects we have in the year 2015 from the First World War, what these objects are, what their associated stories might be and what I could do about them to highlight their importance and their stories to the general public through art.

I’m interested in the ‘trace’ of experiences that can be sensed through contact with objects from the First World War. The ‘trace’ will in this case be indirect. This ‘trace’ might be a childhood memory of the narrative associated with the object or the stories passed down about the object.

I have been working with the staff and wardens of the SRM and also with the people involved in the History Makers project to gather stories and photographs of a number of objects. The final exhibition will consist of a video piece and a number of paintings and clay objects based on those conversations, interviews and photographs.

This website charts my progress as the project moves forward.

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