February 10, 2020
Withy Arts is an arts organisation in Norfolk.
“Withy Arts uses willow weaving and textile art alongside other art and craft practices to provide opportunities for self-development.”
I was asked to document what would become their biggest project yet. Catching the Memories and Passing on the Skills is described on their website as:
“Inspired by Great Yarmouth’s Basket Making heritage, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund… In the past there were many basket makers working in the town to supply baskets for the herring fishing industry. This project aims to capture some of the memories of those times by talking to the people who experienced them, and to pass on some basket making skills to local people, keeping the craft alive.”
To document the project as it happened.
Create a film that shares the research found by the project.
Create videos to be used in an exhibit at the Time & Tide Museum.
To work with a local volunteer to design accompanying art work.
Design the cover art work of DVD’s and order the DVD’s for distribution to participants and volunteers.
One of the longest projects so far, it was also one of the most rewarding. It is the longest film I have ever made at 20 minutes long.
First, I created the videos for the museum exhibit at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth. These then formed the basis for the larger film as they shared the information found by the projects researcher and volunteers.
After that was delivered, it came time for the big film to be created. This was to act both as a way to communicate the research found and the process and legacy of the project itself. In order to make sense of the large amount of material I had I created a structure:
Memories of the past.
Looking forward and the legacy of basket making.
You can see this structure in the film and I feel that it was the best way to tell the whole story of this project. Sharing the history and sharing the personal journeys of those involved.
I loved this project. It was a joy to work with Withy Arts and to be a part of a project this long. I got to know everyone involved really well and it was quite emotional to see the film screened at Time and Tide.
It is wonderful to be part of a project that makes me appreciate the history of our coast far more than I did before. I even made my first basket, which you can see in the film.