There comes a point (hopefully) that all of the research and thought comes together and the artworks you need to make become clear. I have already told you that, for their own safety, many of Axbridge Museums documents are held in Taunton. Unfortunately, this means that there are issues with them being seen by the public. This accessibility problem is something I felt it was necessary to resolve quite early on in this project - but the question is how?
During my recent visit to the Somerset Heritage Centre to look at some of the documents I also saw for myself some of the issues with deterioration to the documents which furthers the problems of accessibility - if you can't see the words - how do you know what they are saying? Combine this with the fact they are all in latin, well, then you are starting to see my problem.
So it seems to me that whilst the original words need to be present in the artwork, they shouldn't be very easy to see, unless there is a different way of accessing them - don't worry I am aware that this probably isn't making much sense at the moment - just bear with me.
Pictured at the beginning of this post is a detailed image of a screen print I have created using the wording from the original story of Dustan & King Edward, purposefully difficult to see but I will show you how the story becomes clearer in my next posts.
I have been focusing on a small, slightly unglamorous document held by Axbridge Museum. Dated c1400 the small pamphlet is a chronicle of Axbridge, written in latin which contains an account of King Edmund's escape from death whilst hunting in Cheddar and his subsequent reconciliation with Dunstan, the story itself is dated c1042.
I spent some time examining the document, but couldn't identify the pages that contain the story so I did the next best thing and looked for any words I recognised. I am hoping you will see a latin version of 'Axbridge' on the third line of the image below.
So the question is how do I take these lovely stories and make them more accessible to the public? I will let you know more in my next post.
The work created for the Muse project will remain in the Museum until 31st October and can be seen from 1pm-4pm daily.
Andrea Oke is a Somerset based artist who is fascinated by human behaviour and its links to memory. For more information please to to my website