Commemoration and Creative Practice: Reflections on Art Making in the Centenary of World War I

5 & 6 March 2020

This workshop brought together artists, curators and community practitioners to discuss their experiences of arts projects relating to the WW1 centenary commemorations. Some, like Christine Borland and Dalziel + Scullion are artists who have been involved in 14-18 Now commissions, others like Cat Auburn have been involved in local and international projects. The workshop explored the personal experiences of working on these projects and the affective impact of this work on artistic practice. Our first session was led by Cat Auburn and Fl. Lieut. Gary Richardson (Longbenton Air Cadets). In this session we considered questions such as, ‘what stories can creative work tell and what stories are told about creative works?’ ‘What stories don’t get told?’ and ‘What are the ethics of story-telling in a commemorative context?’ In the second session, with Louise Scullion (Dalziel + Scullion) we explored questions of community engagement and collaboration, and the effects of working within a community for artists and their practice. Our third session with Christine Borland and Morven Gregor (Mount Stuart) turned to professional collaborations, asking how collaborations between curators and artists in commemorative contexts can transform our understanding of artistic and curatorial practices. We concluded with a final open panel discussion reflecting on the importance of the artist’s voice in considering the long-term impact of commemorative arts projects, such as those commissioned to mark the centenary of World War I.

Dr Katherine Baxter

For further discussion of these themes, see: Baxter, Katherine, ‘Practices of Remembrance: The Experiences of Artists and Curators in the Centenary Commemoration of World War I’ Arts 2020, 9(2), 59;

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