Just before Christmas last year I found out I had been selected as the lead artist for the Living Names Project at Fleetwood funded by Wyre Council. The Living Names project was a two year volunteer led initiative that helped to identify the names listed on the war memorial at Memorial Park in Fleetwood. The information found has been uploaded to the Imperial War Museum site ‘Lives of the First World War‘ and the next step is for me to use this information and create a piece of art.
Over the festive period I was able to cosy up on the sofa and start to read all about the 330 servicemen I would be working with. As you can imagine some of the newspaper clippings have been hard to read but highlighted the sensitive nature of this work and how important it is to be created.
I started the process by selecting a neutral material and deciding on the raw elements to the overall piece. The images above show a selection of the portraits taken from the archives and transformed for screen printing.
The next steps are to start taking a line or two from the newspaper articles and research information to layer over the top of the portraits. They will be typed onto tracing paper using an old typewriter so that there is a sense of a portrait underneath as well as highlighting the information. This will also unify the work as there are some we do not have portraits for.
Workshops will be held at the Pavillion next to the memorial in the park so that the community can learn the process of print as well as get a chance to learn about the servicemen. We are also hoping to use this time to start a social group and encourage people to get involved in the project activities which include embroidery, printing and information gathering.
I will be blogging as many times as possible during the project and encourage anyone to log onto the Lives of the First World War website as it has lots of information on there and who knows you may find a relative?
Follow #parkheritage on social media to see more up to date information too.