These three words sum up where I am at on the research side of the project. An excellent mix.As I’m particularly interested in site specific work it’s been a serious pleasure to be able to delve into a precise location and layer by layer, let it’s presence unfold. The artsdepot site was not one I was familiar with prior to this project and that’s given me an approach to my research that is fresh and wide-eyed. When I get off the bus at North Finchley bus depot now, I think of the coaches, the trams and the trolley buses. When I see the curved part of the building atop the bathstore, I’m jolted to a 1930’s cinema. When I go up in the lift at artsdepot, I think of the people that live above, today.
So I won’t give away any details about the research itself as that will be revealed as part of the October theatre piece, visual artwork, film and exhibition. But do know that every archive trip is it’s own unique experience – thank you to the Finchley Society’s basement treasures, Barnet Archives extensive knowledge and enthusiasm and as always, the white gloves at LMA. By far the most privileged experience is carrying out oral histories – within an interview setting, allowing personal memories to come to you and inform and excite others. As only human words and emotion can.
Following a presentation of my findings to the team this week, it’s now our job to translate the material and engage an audience. And it’s important to note that public engagement and participation are major elements of this project. The creative process will be made more magical when visitors come and have their say, fill in the blanks and continue a dialogue about the Tally Ho Corner area. I do hope that I take the concepts of contradictions/glamour/community into my next piece of research.