Yesterday I found myself back at the Museum in the Park, Stroud.
I was installing my last response to the Museum's WW1 collection as part of the Arts Councils funded project Echoes in Enamel. Thank you Alexia who supported me throughout the project.
For this collection of work I have focused on medals and have made an alternative selection of awards.
Looking closely at the feeling soldiers may have experienced while at the front and the emotions of their waiting families, I have created medals exploring the language of bravery and fear.
Printing with oiled based ink onto copper I then etched the medallions. The ink resists the ferric chloride leaving the words as an eaten edge.
The pieces were then enamelled with white and black to echo domestic enamelware.
We know that medals are awarded for bravery and gallantry; this of course should be celebrated. But we should also acknowledge fear and anxiety, both natural feelings in the stressful environment of conflict.
The medals have been made in collaboration with textile artist, Viv Sliwka aka Hens Teeth. Viv created the medal ribbons, inspired by bandaging and rusted to create an earthy colour. A far cry from the jaunty grosgrain tapes supporting conventional medals. The enameled copper together with the enamelled bars create a more domestic looking medal. Very different to the grand awards made for actions at the front.
I have placed the new awards among the museums medal display. In comparison they look very handmade, almost as if they were made by the soldiers in the trenches for each other or family at home.
But this is the display that has given my enamel pieces real presence, pinned to
this beautiful uniform jacket.
This small but beautifully formed exhibit is on display at
the Museum in the Park's foyer now until 29 April.
Come and meet me and find out more about the Echos in Enamel project on Sunday 25 March. I will be at the museum with examples from the project and demonstrating Gum Arabic Transfer printing.