Towards Dunkirk

May 24, 2010

My online installation The Dunkirk Project starts its daily following of this extraordinary event this week on Wednesday 29th May, continuing each day as the stories progress for nine days until 4th June. Every day about a dozen stories will be added to the River of Stories, and I’m hoping that this complex legendary event that holds such a strong place in our national consciousness can be re-evaluated by this multi-faceted accumulation of stories. I’m inviting contributions, not only of first-hand accounts and memories by eye-witnesses, but also from later observers of the Dunkirk phenomenon.

I’m particularly hoping for participation or contributions from people whose voices are more rarely heard, and who are under-represented in the existing archive – from women, pacifists, non-combatants, gay people and other alternative or hidden voices, and I’d love to hear contemporary views about the continuing relevance of the issues, and the development of the myth. A brilliant contemporary (ie wartime) protest from Vera Brittain starts on 28th May, for example, and I’m hoping that it will provoke some interesting responses.  Please do participate if you’d like to – any contribution, however small, increases the scope and diversity of the project.

Alongside The Dunkirk Project, I’m writing another blog about the making of my 17m long freestanding paper sculpture Thames to DunkirkTowards Dunkirk, on the Artists’ Newsletter website. Here I’m discussing the relation of this great mass of information to a specific artwork, and talking about some of the other works it references, as well as the making process itself. 

But I will be adding to this blog too, over the next few weeks – there are several new elephants in the herd. (I worked out that Thames to Dunkirk is a 100 elephant book.)

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