Being a creative and obsessive, excitable person can have its draw backs!
I am so excited about The Politics of Freedom project that I have been completely immersed in all it’s exciting artefacts and memorabilia. SO many hugely important items to include in this work I hardly knew where to start.
My journey with this project has been long but I have really enjoyed it. It has introduced me to facets of life which I had hardly engaged with before so I am excited to be learning new things and discovering new facets to get excited about.
Everything for my project hand in had a significance and a message for the work. I love that this richness and authenticity can be used to add so much to the work itself. Heres what I did:
I found a leather box in a garage sale.
It was beaten up and had clearly been around a bit but I knew as soon as I touched it there was a significant history behind it.
It is a WWI artillery box.
This box carried the means to kills people, innocent people being killed and maimed by other innocent people.
It was what I used to present my project work in.
My project work, by this I mean the written documentation, was produced at the same size of The Peoples Representation Act of 1918. I thought this act was so significant I wanted to include it somehow. Although the original was filled with very tiny typed text on single sided pages. I used the disc binding system to bind the pages. This had a military feel to it and gave it a substance which I felt was unusual.
Here is my disc bound project work, along side that you can see a memory stick. On this memory stick is the audio sound track for the voting booth which I posted on the previous blog post. It is harrowing so it has a huge impact on the voter.
I found a letter to a widow, dated 1917 in which a nurse writes to a family to tell them of her Husbands death. I found a clipped DogTag. I learnt that a clip on the tag meant it was from a dead soldier. What a find! I had to include these in my pack. They show the personal loss of war and highlight how so many sacrificed their lives and how it had a knock on affect to others such as this nurse. I wonder how many of these she wrote a day?
Aug 22 / 17
Dear Mrs Kerr,
You Husband H… Kerr was admitted to this hospital on July 23rd and died on July 24th.
He died from a wound in his head and was unconscious when he came in – so that we could not get your address as there was not a single letter or anything by which we could know your address. SO the only thing we could do was to wait til I heard from you – who ever told you that he asked me to write was misinformed as I remember the case so (were) giving to not knowing to whom to write is most unusual.Rest assured that everything possible was done for him.
With much sympathy, sincerely. Sister MacDonald.
This sister had so much to do at this time it was kind of her to write at all. It must have been a big part of her day.
It was because of this letter and the dog tag that I decided I needed to wrap the project work in something like a shroud, a bloodied piece of muslin perhaps. This is what I did, I used blood from the butchers however to leave bloody splatters on this and the bag which it all goes in.
I used a bandage and safety pins to secure the muslin and reinforce the message. I wanted the reader of my work to understand that this piece was about blood and grit and death.
I placed the wrapped pack into the armoury box, but first I added something else.
White feathers were an important part in WWI and had a significant effect on those who received them, there is a long history associated with the symbol of the white feather and how it was used ( it symbolised peace and pacifism before WWI use) but that may be for another post. It is fascinating insight into social history, conventions and reforms. I really enjoyed reading about this. The men who were legitimately not allowed to fight for many reasons had a special lapel badge to wear to ensure they didn’t get ‘feathered’, although many still did.
I also included a stamped suffragette old penny coin from 1916. They used to stamp coins with a message of support, this was a genius marketing plan from the women of those days. It spread the word and allowed them to infiltrate as many layers of society as they could using this method.
The Suffragette movement was huge around this era and an important part of why the Peoples Representation Act came about and significant sacrifices for freedom to vote were made.
The whole package was put inside a white cotton blood stained bag from 1956. (It was an old military service laundry bag)
I adorned the bag with loads of political badges. This ties in with the 70’s era of demonstration and the wearing of political badges on clothing around that time. The wearing of buttons or badges has been used for centuries to denote affiliation with certain organisations and was considered a way of expressing personal opinion and to show membership of associations.
So there it is, my Politics of Freedom final hand in.
I will be doing this installation in 2018 so will add to this section then.
Why 2018 – it is 100 year anniversary of the Representation of People Act.
See you there!