We were initially taken with the idea of recording the stories associated with the objects and ephemera in the Museum but we were also really interested in the untold stories that the Museum archivist’s had told us. The little details of the lives of the soldiers but also the families and that of Sandwich it’s self during the war.
During our initial research we become more fascinated by the development of Richborough Port, the secret port of Sandwich and the role it played in the War. Its location made Richborough unique compared to other ports along the Kent coastline at the time. The Port was able to transport soldiers, ammunition, tanks, horses, rations and fuel somewhat undetected.
This had a really bearing on Sandwich as the Port was top secret for most of the war and as we have found there are very few images of Sandwich during this period due to the Secrets Act, this we found interesting. We also know that even the population living in Sandwich were not completely aware of what was happening along the River Stour in close proximity even though the port was huge.
As the project has developed we wanted to illustrate not only the stories and lives of the soldiers from Sandwich that are commemorated on the Museums time line wall but also the story of life back in Sandwich and that of the Secret Port. Putting into context what was happening at the same time in the different theatres of war compared to life back at home.
We are generating an illustrated book highlighting the destruction and futility of the Western front against the story of the quiet town of Sandwich, a layered account of the different events and stories that occurred. The book will be created through archived photos from the museums collection as well as our paintings and drawings depicting the horrors in France and Belgium to the contrast to Idyllic Sandwich this will be created through printmaking process overlaying the contrasting images. We perceive the book to be an insight to the lives, stories and pain of the war to a new audience. Rob McDonald & Tania McCormack
Associated Artist: Rob McDonald and Tania McCormack
Associated Museum: Sandwich Guildhall