Tardis style tent transports visitors back in time at new World War 1 exhibition
An original military ridge tent from WW1 is set to play a pivotal role in a major exhibition at Aberdeen Maritime Museum which highlights the dramatic impact of the WW1 on the working landscape of this corner of North East Scotland.
Running from 12 – 26 March, Working Life to War Life, is an educational heritage project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aimed at empowering pupils from areas of disadvantage, volunteers and young people from Aberdeen, in retelling the transformation of the working lives of local people during WWI.
In partnership with the Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen Arts Centre and Music Without Bars, they have taken part and assisted in workshops to help create music, audio and the physical content to transform The Tentinto an immersive WWI exhibition centerpiece which will transport visitors back to the to these turbulent times.
As well as being as an authentic and poignant symbol of the battlefield, The Tent has been given a 21st century makeover for the exhibition to bring the range of exhibits to life through an exciting mix of expressive arts and digital technology.
Explains The Tent’s creator, Scottish composer Robert Aitken: “Young and adult visitors alike will experience a hugely immersive exhibition centre piece. The actual tent we used is an authentic military medics ridge tent that has been completely adapted for the exhibition.
“It has been painted inside and out with graphic depictions of working and war life on each side of the roof panels. The interior will be a dark, slightly eerie place where various artifacts pertaining to the First World War are housed. But it is the surround sound that makes The Tent what it is.”
“Visitors firstly hear the impact of war on those at home as well as the front. Next they listen to a message from an unknown Gordon Highlander on the eve of battle. And finally, there is a tribute to the fallen as well as those who survived.”
Painstaking research has gone into the audio strand of The Tent to create authentic sound, including the recording of an actual WW1 regimental kit including, ration tins, bayonets, Lee Enfield guns and other items used by a frontline soldier circa 1916. The sounds of trams, machinery and fishing boats that were true to the period and location of Aberdeen were also recorded.
Adds Robert: “What ties the audio effects together is the wonderful narration. National storyteller, Grace Banks, takes you on the journey, whilst Great War Boy, Lewis Gibbon, truly embodies the spirit of the unknown Gordon Highlander.
“We also put a lot of work into creating a script that informs as well as tells a story. We hope people will learn a lot about this time in a very subtle way. The sum intention is to explore the emotional turmoil of war in a unique, thought-provoking visitor attraction for all ages – sometimes explosive and often moving.”
The Working Life to War Life exhibition showcase will be on open to the public at Aberdeen Maritime Museum from the 12th – 26th March 2015. Admission is free. For more information on Working Life to War Life please visit: www.workinglifetowarlife.info
View an online trailer for The Tent at: http://youtu.be/So7Zggyrfho
About Robert Aitken
Robert Aitken is composer and an independent new media producer and director of cultural projects at home and abroad. He specialises in communicating the unknown or lost social stories of peoples and their plight over the years to present day. He has worked with Emmy® Award winning director, Guy Perrotta, on his planned US national TV broadcast of ‘Voices Over The Water’ and is composer on Working Life to War Life . His soundtrack to the Highland Clearances, Kildonan, features newly composed and arranged pieces inspired by the launch of Scotland’s Clearances Trail. Robert also is developing a series of short filmic, sonic and musically scored episodes pertaining to the Scottish Diaspora.
MWB assists people who have a dream to bring their digital creations alive – audio or visual. As well as a range of professional services in music and sound production MWB Education pioneers the responsible and creative use of digital media in education; opening up the understanding of music and digital technology to children and adults of any age and ability. www.musicwithoutbars.co.uk
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 35,000 projects with more than £5.3bn across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk.
The various displayed pieces around the exhibition room, were created by the pupils from eight Aberdeen City schools. Topics examined include local industry, fishing and the changing role of women.
The project has seen local schools collaborate with the Reading Bus (readingbus.co.uk) in uncovering the unknown, individual stories by visiting WWI related sites in Aberdeen, followed by the pupils working with specialists in class time to create various artworks