Susan Merrick

Artist and Interpreter. Power Language Access

On a balcony in a wedding dress

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As the title suggests that is exactly what I was doing last Friday. This is part of a project that I am doing with a group of Artists, the UCA Archives and the National Archives. I won’t go into too much detail yet as the National Archives will be sharing our blog updates from June.

I finally feel I am finding a process that not only works for me, but excites me. The process of research that I have been using begins conversations for me. I find hidden stories, or I see a story and can take a different angle with it. This is especially true in archives, the pieces of information that you can find are like finding hidden treasure of social life. And also hidden terrors.

I take these here stories and pieces of life with me in my mind, in photos or in my notebooks… And let them sit. The stories and pieces slowly start to form something for me or sometimes drop away. I am very aware that there are a great many influences in my life that formulate what I will work with and what I won’t. The fact I am a woman, a feminist, what I am shown by the archivists, how I am led, what I am reading at the time, where I grew up, who my friends are and have been… And so much more. Articles I have read or heard that week will influence the take I have on a story, or what words will stand out in what I read. But this can be what is so interesting. Each person can take these records and see something new. This can then inspire new art, new questions, new responses and reactions and can be a way to talk about not only what and how we see, but why we see it.

This intrigue for Art and Archives that I have found has led me to join and exciting creative residency with the UCA archives starting this week. As part of an inter-disciplinary group of students I will be working with the UCA Archives and Working Press over the next few weeks and I will share with you what we discover and what we create!

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