The Box selects artist Paul Rooney for  IWM 14 18 NOW Legacy Fund commission

The Box selects artist Paul Rooney for IWM 14 18 NOW Legacy Fund commission - The Box, Plymouth

Added: 02 April 2024

The Box has chosen artist/musician Paul Rooney for a new commission that explores the concept of home during a time of conflict, from the Falklands Conflict of 1982 up to the present day.

The commission is part of the IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund, a national partnership programme led by Imperial War Museums which includes more than 20 artist commissions inspired by the heritage of conflict. The Fund was created following the success of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary, which ran from 2014-2018.

Although based in Liverpool, Paul will be working closely with a group of Plymouth veterans who were heavily involved in the artist selection process. He will also work with local creatives and musicians to realise the commission, and spend time at The Box where he’ll be given access to the city’s historic collections as part of his research.

The film Paul hopes to create will feature images of domestic spaces, familiar places and objects that are important to the veterans. These will be set against their recollections set to a melodic folk ballad.

Paul, whose installations, videos, writings and records, often focus on everyday life, was selected following a highly competitive open call in late 2023. His film will go on display at The Box in autumn 2024.

“We had a fantastic response to our artist call out and it was really interesting to see the different ideas that came through in response to our brief,” said project lead Jodie Bishop. “Paul has a great deal of experience in creating works that combine music, voice, archives and objects which makes him an ideal choice for a project of this kind. His works also have a strong focus on real life – something which is extremely important to the veterans who are involved and because of the themes we’re dealing with which draw on people’s lived experiences.”

“Our veterans group has already developed a great rapport with Paul. It’s going to be a really rewarding process for us all as we work together throughout the spring and summer, ready for the final presentation of Paul’s commission at The Box later this year.”