David was appointed resident artist at Fox's Biscuits in Batley between December 2014 and December 2015.
Fox's have had a factory in Batley for over 200 years and it's a huge part of the town and a truly magical place. In the first half of 2014 David worked in the factory, getting lost in its labyrinthine corridors and meeting the people who work there.
People talk of the Fox's family, and it's quickly obvious that this is an accurate description. Many members of staff are the second or third generation to work there, and have been at the factory for a long time. It's typical to find that someone first came for a few weeks on work experience - twenty five years later they're still there. Longstanding friendships are established - but people are equally welcoming to new faces.
While on our travels, we found a number of all-but-forgotten cupboards and storerooms crammed with artefacts of Fox's past. It was fascinating to listen to the memories these evoked (and the stories that emerged from them!). David worked with a small group of staff to identify and tag key objects, as well as to document people recounting their experiences.
This was a magical experience and we were keen to ensure that Fox's today was in some way preserved for future staff members to stumble across. We developed a digital time capsule - a screen and storage facility that could hold documentation of something of Fox's today. The capsule is housed in a plain archive box. Once populated it can be returned to the stores and lie dormant, hidden in plain sight until someone's curiosity is piqued sufficiently to investigate its contents.
As well as continuing our exploration of creating relevant digital outcomes as part of participative projects, this also develops our theme of 'heritage now' - a belief that while there is real value in exploring our connections to the past we should, especially in this era of disposable and intangible digital documentation.
This project was commissioned and produced by Creative Scene. With special thanks to Vicky Holliday and all at Fox's Bicsuits.