A PROCLAMATION is a new piece 600mm x 300mm laser etched Perspex® acrylic. It was done at FabLab in Altrincham. And here’s a video of it being done…
The idea for this piece came after I wrote about the Two Minutes Silence in my booklet ‘Best We Forget’. I had argued that criticism of any war, no matter how unnecessary or unjust the war might be, was seen as disrespecting the people who had been killed in previous wars. This was encouraged with jingoism to shut down any opposition to any war, rather than out of respect for those who do the fighting. So the silence was in effect telling people to shut up rather than think about the tragedy and victims of war.
I’ve produced several pieces based on these ideas, one of which was a list of quotes about silence starting with King George V’s proclamation of 1919, asking for his subjects to observe a two minutes silence to remember the dead of the First World War.
Text of the finished plaque
The list of quotes grows more critical and cynical as it goes on. It was typeset in a typeface reminiscent of the inscriptions on monuments and printed onto A3 sized tracing paper. Being able to see through the text was a visual pun on seeing through propaganda if one stopped looking at the words.
I found out about FabLab in Altrincham opposite the bus and tram station. They have equipment they can show people how to use including a couple of Laser Cutters. I decided to reproduce the A3 piece as a plaque by etching the list into Perspex® acrylic (thanks to Val at Lucite International for providing samples etc). The quotes were done in Adobe Illustrator and saved as a pdf file, which the Laser Cutter ‘prints’ on to the material you use, which can be paper, wood and other stuff as well as Perspex.
After a few trials to see what sizes, depths of cut etc. what colour material to use, and with a lot of patient help from Tony and Anthony at FabLab, I finished the piece today.