Frances Law

Voices from the River

display_case (39K) bottles (23K) Forks_and_switches (22K) IMG_0772 (25K) IMG_0771 (21K) toys (39K)
Perth Museum and Art Gallery

January - September 2017

Through partnership working with Culture Perth and Kinross and Living Communities Funding I was able to follow on the Coupar Burn Project extending the work into Coupar Angus Primary School and at various local events within the town. One of the biggest challenges to stimulate people to see their place with new eyes is to bring a new connection to what is local, but to make this accessible as well as provocative. By setting out the 'artefacts' found in the burn at local community events and encouraging people to handle the objects, stories, conversations and memories emerged showing how sometimes the most ordinary things in the landscape are often of the greatest importance to the heart and can promote and inform what is individual and particular to people and their place.

I worked in Coupar Angus Primary School with the P5 class. I took them on a time travel journey back to Coupar Angus 100 years ago showing pictures of how their town would have looked. We discussed the many different occupations the town's people would have had and what their lives may have been like back then. This inspired the class to write fantastic stories. The children were recorded reading their stories and this was made into a voiceover played during the exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery. The children's drawings of some of the objects found in the burn were also displayed alongside the many stories and memories recorded from the wider community. The 'artefacts' from the burn were displayed in a traditional way in museum cases without any labelling or classification allowing the viewer to identify the artefacts and to engage with them on a personal level. Two handling tables were also on display offering visitors to the exhibition immediate entry into the project through inquiry and exploration.

This place specific project offered a new way to enter into the ordinary life and social experience of a community bringing art to the everyday perception of the viewer, restoring play and wonder and providing a scent of memory, a remembrance of the known.

© 2016 Frances Law