Engaging with the Archive at PWRRQM

Posted on April 10, 2015

Simon Martin and John Dargan made a visit to the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment and Queens Museum on friday 10th April. Our plan was to photograph some of the artefacts and discuss ideas.

John Dargan decided to test out the idea of photographing lots of objects. He had in mind documenting lots of medals and running them together to make a short films. If the objects were similar in size, they would work in a sequence and hopefully help a viewer realise the mass of everyday material that is in the archive. This might expose an aspect of the nature of the collection; that it contains masses of material, but each part is a kind of mini representation of an individual that passed through the ranks. Here is the test animation on youtube.


Simon set up some flashes and made space on the main table in the main office.


Both artists then began to look through the material, here are some artefacts from one soldiers belongings.



The idea at the moment is to record some of the stories around the objects and start to work up narratives to inspire us. After discussion, we have decided to see if we can get an actor or living historian to assist us. Simon wants to make some studio photographs on transparency of the actor in uniform, john wants to film a soldier getting into uniform. Both want to highlight different aspects of the situations with lighting. They are thinking of asking if the action can be shot in the office here.

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This offers more opportunities to improvise around what an actor can do and make a film where the contrast between modern environments or situations and the historical uniform can emphasised.

They will also bring down some more sophisticated lighting equipment and spend longer capturing the objects selected for their narrative potential.