John Dargan and Simon Martin are the artists offered the opportunity of working with the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment Queen’s Museum situated in Dover Castle.
The museum has an incredible archive of material associated with the current regiments and the regiments that preceded it.
Here are some of the Helmets from earlier regiments
Henry Thomas is the curator here, along with his assistant Alan Lee and they made every effort to make us feel at home. They were extremely generous with their time and left us in no doubt that we could revisit any time we wanted.
The archive is tremendous. Simon and I were afforded access to the all the objects available at the museum. Henry was explaining that there is also a tremendous amount of material in store in Canterbury. He is hoping to expand or re-work the museum and is hoping that Simon and I can make new material to enhance the archive here.
The compass you can see on the shelf here was made in the trenches, from an old snuff tin. Our initial thoughts were to document particular objects and display the narrative around those objects in some way. This might manifest in a book or series of images or a film. This compass is a good example of a starting point for us. On the day, Simon and Alan were going through the envelopes on the shelves and Alan was talking about the singular narratives therein.
The rooms above the museum are chock full of uniforms, ceremonial equipment, medals and shields. Simon and I feel that there is a lot of scope to use these in making images or films. Simon may get the cadets from a previous project of his to wear the uniforms to make images.