Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole
2014 is looking set to be a very busy and exciting year and I have tried to start it with a very focused approach. I am sure that won’t last!
I have 2 main projects I want to concentrate on this year and see where these take me.
Resting Place is developing into a very exciting collaboration and I am thrilled to be working with an amazing group of people.
Roanna Mitchell – Movement Director
Niamh Lynam-Cotter – Performer
Fae Harmer – Filmmaker/videographer
Nathan Harmer – Sound Artist
Harry Vendryes – Actor/spoken word
Platform – 7 Events – Production
Opening up the project to others was daunting at first and there will be many challenges ahead, but already new ideas are developing, new insights into the diary and archive are emerging as others interpret and respond to it. It has given me a renewed enthusiasm for a project, which for me is 2 years old and although that may sound a little negative, it was what I needed to bring the idea behind the pillowcases alive. I knew when I first presented the project at London Printworks Trust back in Nov 2012 that the project would be more than the installation travelling to different venues. Clarice’s story and the archive is so multilayered that the only way to truly tell it is through layers. Layers of thought, layers of interpretation, layers of meaning. Each layer like the series of folded pillowcases, slowly being unfolded to reveal their hidden secrets and laid bare for all to see.
So, we are currently working towards the first Resting Place event. All being well this will take place in Ellington Park, Ramsgate on 23rd March but I will post full details soon. On Friday we launched ‘On wishing her goodbye’, a participatory project that explores the idea of leaving. We are asking for people to think about what they would say to a young woman leaving to go to war and ask for the contributions to be sent in the form of bunting flags. Full details are on the website here
The Kings Shilling
Since beginning research on The King’s Shilling last year I have been developing further ideas. These have taken me into the realm of probability and chance particularly that of tossing a coin – heads or tails.
I have been playing with ideas around Jacob’s Ladder toy as a way to represent the idea of tossing a coin.
The phrase Jacob’s Ladder originated as a biblical reference
In Genesis 28, Jacob is described as laying his head on a stone pillow and dreaming of a ladder by which angels descend from and ascend to the heavens.
This reference to a pillow brings to mind my ideas behind Resting Place and this makes the Jacob’s ladder particularly significant. Further research has revealed that during WW1 there was trench named ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, aBritish communication trench linking the villages of Mesnil and Hamel on the battlefield of the Somme.
The poem ‘Trench Nomenclature‘ by Edmund Blunden speaks of the naming of this trench and his perception of it not referring to a ladder to heaven, but as place that descends to hell. A reference to the horrors associated with that trench.
It is very exciting (and somewhat a relief) when the research behind what is only an initial idea leads to the conclusion that the idea is sound, with research to back it up and justify the reason it will exist beyond an idea.
The sounds made by the Jacobs Ladder also intrigue me and am now considering the materials to use to enhance the sounds.