On the road with ‘The Road to Ypres’

Yesterday the project team took to the road to deliver and install The Road to Ypres, our travelling exhibition of Olive Edis’ war photography, at the Museum of Farnham in Surrey. This is the second stop on the tour but the first venue to show the full exhibition, which is designed to be modular and flexible to suit a range of different sized venues. Edis had a temporary studio in Farnham, so we’re really excited to be able to show her work here.

As well as exploring the photographs Edis took as part of her war commission from the Imperial War Museum, the exhibition touches on her other work and offers visitors the chance to dress up and take a seat in The Studio for a photo. There is also a touchscreen interactive featuring extracts from Edis’ war journal, along with a further selection of images from Cromer Museum’s collection and the three short films made by Paston College students that I mentioned in a previous post.

This stop on the tour coincides with The Museum of Farnham’s exhibition of the work of local engineer and inventor John Henry Knight (1847-1917) , a prolific photographer who recorded many aspects of Edwardian life – a perfect pairing for The Road to Ypres!

Find out more about both exhibitions and related events at The Museum of Farnham here.

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A Picture of Inspiration

Recently the Olive Edis project team attended a very special performance at Sheringham Little Theatre entitled “Olive Edis: A Picture of Inspiration”. The play, produced and performed by the theatre’s youth drama group, had its debut showing to a full house on Friday 19th May.

Sheringham Youth Theatre production of  Olive Edis - A Picture Of Inspiration. Pictures from the technical rehearsal at the Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: James Bass Photography

Over the last few months, Sheringham Youth Theatre have been working with Youth Engagement Officer Tricia Hall and the project team to produce a short play about Olive Edis’ life and work, supported by our grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Since the first rehearsal back in February, the group have worked with a professional team – writer Steve Banks and director Bridget Robinson – to write and perform their own brilliant re-telling of Olive Edis’ fascinating story.Sheringham Youth Theatre production of  Olive Edis - A Picture Of Inspiration. Pictures from the technical rehearsal at the Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: James Bass Photography

The show begins with a school presentation on Olive Edis from student Lauren, who is initially less than enthusiastic about the chosen topic – that is, until Olive herself turns up to tell the story in her own words! There were tears and laughter on Friday night as the cast took us seamlessly from breakdancing selfies (no, really!) to the horror of World War One, while Olive herself made sure the audience heard the real truth of the story – and discovered how new technology has made a camera as portable as a pocket watch. Along the way we met Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman to qualify as a doctor (one of her many ‘firsts’, as we learned!), Old Pegg, a local fisherman, and even the King of England himself. The students used projections of Olive Edis’ photographs from the Cromer Museum collection to set the scene and help tell the story – a touch of genius which even allowed Olive and the students to swap selfies!

The play was a delight from start to finish, and it was a real treat and privilege to see the work and enthusiasm that the whole group put into it. Our philosophy while working on the project has always been, “what would Olive Edis think of this?” – we’re absolutely sure that she would have thoroughly enjoyed the show!

A huge thank you from the whole project team to the incredibly talented young people at SheringhamYouth Theatre, Sheringham Little Theatre, Steve Banks, Bridget Robinson, and everyone involved with the show.

(Photos from the technical rehearsal by James Bass)