“Archives exists in the present, yet their endless “waiting without forgetting” locates them in the past.” Ubique [oo-bee-kwe] brings together eight dynamic graduating photographers from UCA Rochester in collaboration with REMLA (Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive). In response to the archive the diverse photographers created individual works which shed new light on the historical material.
Follow the work of the students through their blog posts, and through a springtime exhibition.
Laura Fisher, Part 1:
As someone who is passionate about documenting things, having the opportunity to access the Royal Engineers library and archive, as part of my third year university studies at UCA, is a real privilege.
I came away from the initial tour of the museum and the introduction to the library and archive buzzing. The smell of the old books and the vast range of source material was overwhelming, in a good way! I could hardly wait to return and immerse myself in all that ‘treasure’.
I was drawn to an album of cyanotypes and to the collections of portraits. I knew I wanted to take a human interest in my work, as I feel many visitors to the archive come to do this themselves, looking for family members and ancestors to fill in the gaps of their family trees and make sense of their own identities.
My search led me to a fascinating photograph album containing 18 individual portraits of young Royal Engineers Officers, dated 1910. I aim to use this as my source material and to combine it with the old process of cyanotypes and create a contemporary interpretation of an army blazer, using calico fabric and combining the cyanotype process with the images of the young men.
I also endeavour to reproduce a photograph album from the scanned images and to find out what happened to the young officers.
I am completely inspired and enthusiastic about this opportunity and I am sad that this in only a 4 week project. I really wish we had longer.
(Photographs: 2 scanned portraits from the photograph album)