Blackberry Tonic

Following the discovery of the National Blackberry Collection around Deal in the Kent Messenger (07/09/1918), the simple collective act of picking blackberries has revealed the resilience of Home Front communities during World War One inside and around the town’s built landscape. As the war continued, local landmarks such as the Town Hall transformed to co-exist with the various needs of a community living with war becoming first aid stations and hospitals whilst school children were tasked to pick blackberries to make jam for the trenches.

Working with Deal Town Council, Blackberry Tonic is a new piece of work for Deal Town Hall assembling found narratives about the town and the National Blackberry Collection through film, featuring living historians Andrew and Muriel Morgan, with selected piano pieces played by Maddie4Music’s Mark Heller, extracts from A Nurse at the Front: The First World War Diaries of Sister Edith Appleton, found artifacts, ephemera, photography, an open call for recipes and a scratch performance enlivening the significant built heritage of the area and vitality of the skyward perspective in recovery now and then.

Blackberry Tonic : Film by Colin Priest

Associated Artist: Colin Priest
Associated Museum: Deal Town Council