– Dundee Commons Festival
Dundee Commons Festival
Link to Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/INAZ7
Link to Newspaper article about the project: The Courier
Situated in the centre of Dundee's Waterfront Redevelopment Owen Daily's posters draw upon his teaching experience with young people from Dundee's peripheral housing schemes.
Using public domain images, his posters reflect on experiences of disenfranchised young people through the established visual languages of power including heraldry, land ownership and the city's rich naval history.
How can the city's public history and personal voice be used to generate new narratives and understanding for Dundee?
It is hoped that the posters will open up conversations about shared space, place and belonging.
Where: Waterfront hoardings, Dock Street, DD1 3DP
From Thursday 27th August until Monday 28th September.
In investigating ideas of the commons I was struck by the symbolic representation of a "Gentleman", through his heraldic use of arms, in contrast to the "Simple", lower classes often treated like sheep.
Local gang names, Troop and Fleet mark territories and adopt the language of power and warfare. Troop, from the French Troupeau, meaning "flock".
Fleet: fast footed or many ships, linked into the harbour again. Both gangs use the language of land and sea, warfare and power.
Dundee has been sacked several times and the harbour was also a means of access to the city.
The etymology of Whitfield's "Shams" or Shamland is trickier. Sham land deals have been known, but not particulary in Dundee, as far as I know. However, "shams" is the Arabic word for "sun", hence the Heraldic pun.
Other works attempt to reference the locations maritime history, anchors, ropework, defences and of course, the Bell Rock lighthouse, which has protected many ships as the enter the Tay Estuary.
Dundee's historical connections with many exotic parts of the world, through the harbour are listed in "Sites of Formative Relationships" as are many sites significant to our young people.
"Columbus's Egg" is often cited as an example of "easy when you know how, or obvious after the fact". Hogarth's illustration of this incident in the life of the famous maritime explorer seemed to fit with the harbour and also serve as a reminder of how it easy to speak to one another, once you learn the language.
Excerpts of Jonathan Raban's influential book Soft City remind us that the harbour and Dundee itself, need all who live here to help shape the city.
In studying what makes a Happy City, Charles Montgomery reminds us it is a shared project.
Further quotations from Boyer's City of Collective Memory help us to see how the city can form a canvas for creativity, what it is and could be.
Almost all images are from the public domain, or Creative Commons, as are the excellent typefaces Linux Libertine and Biolinum.
With thanks to;
Public Domain Sources: