Afterlives of Evidence: A Response from @katbhave

New Zealand-based librarian Kat Moody read my post on Afterlives of Evidence, archives, and grief last week. She offers this response, exploring military history, natural disasters, landscape and memory.

Photograph by Kat Moody

Recently I had the opportunity at work to attend a course on character strengths run by the Mental Health Education Resource Centre. It’s great that these opportunities for healthcare professional development are being opened up to librarians. Last year I went to one of their courses on grief. This was an incredibly valuable session where I learnt a lot; one thing that stood out to me was that we don’t just grieve for people, we also grieve for places and things, particularly in times of change. Sometimes these aspects are inextricably linked.

Because I work in the centre of Christchurch, I am surrounded by sites of memory and sites of mourning. Read more

When You Look You May Not See: Archives and Public Space

Just a quick post from London, where I saw this poster at Turnham Green tube station:

Richard Wentworth - When You Look You May Not See

Richard Wentworth’s When You Look You May Not See takes a postcard written by First World War soldier Herbert Wilson and simply reverses the original lettering.

The postcard comes from the University of Oxford Poetry Archive and is presented as part of Art on the Underground’s contribution to London’s commemoration of the 1914-18 war.

Richard Wentworth - When You Look You May Not See
When You Look You May Not See being read with a mirror. Photo from Art on the Underground

To me it’s a perfect piece of public art. It uses genuine everyday communication from the archives; presents it in a simple, yet challenging, way; and it’s not bound within the walls of a museum or a prestigious city-centre location – it’s flung out to the platforms of public transport in the commuter suburbs.

It’s really important to think about where we physically place arts and culture programming – you can read more on that, in an Australasian context, in my VALA keynote from earlier this year. And in their own small way, my friends in the Australian town of Parkes have also been exploring the pleasures of ‘locative literature’ in 2014.

Huge congratulations to all involved in the London project and you can read more about When You Look You May Not See at the Art on the Underground website.