Voices from the Hood - Installation by Dan Fox
Ulverston-based sound artist, Dan Fox, has created a wonderfully clever and playful installation, Voices From The Hood, which is ‘in residence’ here from April 12 to April 26.
It is a ‘theatrical’ mobile installation that takes the form of vintage hairdryers that were commonly used in ladies’ hairstylists from the 1940s onwards. Dan, acclaimed across the UK for his unique sound installations, has created Voices From The Hood to celebrate the remarkable Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive.
The archive is the work of Dr Roberts, who was born and raised in Barrow, is a unique resource, through which we can hear the voices of people born at the end of the nineteenth century sharing their perspectives on the timeless themes of birth, love, marriage, health, work, family and death.
Voices From The Hood, uses a selection of extracts from the interviews undertaken by Elizabeth Roberts almost in Barrow almost 50 years ago and is a fun way of encouraging people to sit under a hairdryer and listen for a few minutes to extracts from her extraordinary archive.
The installation is part of a project, Walking In Others Footsteps, created by the arts and heritage charity, Mirador, with funding from Arts Council England, The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Sir John Fisher Foundation.
Walking In Others Footsteps
Walking In Others Footsteps is an outstanding artistic and heritage programme celebrating the remarkable Elizabeth Roberts Working Class Oral History Archive
Researched, designed and produced by Mirador, the programme, which runs from January to June 2018, reveals in a magical way in Barrow, Lancaster and Preston the extraordinary content of one of the most important collections of oral history testimonies in the UK.
Collected in the 1970s when oral history was a relatively new form of data collection, the Elizabeth Roberts Archive is a unique and important source for the history of working-class life in north-west England.
Working with a fantastic team, the programme is delivering a series of original artistic, film, participative and heritage events to illustrate and highlight this notable archive. And it engages in fun and enjoyable ways with local communities to encourage the collection of memories and artefacts linked to the archives and locations in Barrow, Lancaster and Preston
This subject is the starting point for the extensive programme of innovative arts and heritage because the archive formed the basis for Dr Roberts' ground-breaking work on working-class life in industrial towns, which has been published in various forms, including books and articles.
The archive is also being digitised by the Regional Heritage Centre at Lancaster University to help make it more readily available online as a unique oral history resource.
The archive is remarkable in its extensiveness. In total the archive contains 545 tape recordings, questionnaires and transcripts of interviews of more than 3 million words. The transcripts are all fully indexed by subject.
The creative programme for Walking In Others Footsteps is a series of site specific/site responsive works that are taking place in the locations where the Elizabeth Roberts Archive was compiled, in Preston, Lancaster and Barrow.
The team on the project – Steve Fairclough, Dan Fox, Pippa Hale, Mandy Coe, Jon Randall and Tom Diffenthal – are creating sound installations, playful and participatory artwork that includes making, digital technology, community participation and street play, poetry workshops, artefact workshops and a short creative documentary film that will show how voices from the past cross-over and exist in dialogue with modern life.
To find out more about how each of the artist’s work is progressing keep in touch with the project via the Mirador website (www.miradorarts.co.uk) facebook and twitter.