To Initiate the Memory Maps project a group of leading contemporary writers were asked to begin the process of writing about Essex. They have responded to different works and images in a range of media: drawings, watercolours, oil sketches and portraits, as well as embroideries and wall-paper, clothes, silverware and carvings. It is hoped that they will inspire you to start making your own memory maps.
Memory Maps: Grayson Perry's autobiography by Wendy Jones
Grayson Perry, the potter, was born and grew up in Essex - in Bicken Acre, Great Bardfield and Chelmsford. Wendy Jones met Grayson in 1999 at a therapy group. They became friends and she suggested she write his biography. It was published seven years later when he was well-known and successful.
Memory Maps: 'Elm' by Robert Macfarlane
John Constable loved trees as he loved people. His friend C. R. Leslie remembered that he had often seen Constable 'admire a fine tree with an ecstasy of delight like that with which he would catch up a beautiful child in his arms'. And of all trees, Constable loved the elm most.
Memory Maps: 'Mud Language' by Michèle Roberts
Every morning I walked in to work from the nearby village of Wivenhoe where I rented a room from a sad widow. I was a widow myself, in a manner of speaking (a divorce is a kind of death), but you wouldn't have known it to look at me unless you thought all women of thirty-five were in mourning.
Memory Maps: 'The Edge of the Orison: In the Traces of John Clare's 'Journey Out of Essex'' by Iain Sinclair
Early on the morning of the 16th of July, 1837, Clare was led away from his wife and children, by two stern-looking men, who placed him in a small carriage and drove rapidly away southward. Late the same day, the poet found himself an inmate of Dr. Allen's private lunatic asylum, at Fair Mead House, High Beech, in the centre of Epping Forest.
Memory Maps: 'Estuary Lines: An essay on the Essex coastline' by Ken Worpole
In January 2005 I was contacted by the photographer Jason Orton asking if I would collaborate with him on a new project. He had been commissioned to produce a series of photographs of the Essex coastline by ExDRA, the Essex development agency.
Memory Maps is about people and their relationship with place. It is about objects that are associated with particular areas as well as prints and paintings of named locations. But most importantly it is about writing about place. The Memory Maps project is a collaboration between Marina Warner, Professor of Creative Writing and her department at the University of Essex and the V&A. For this reason we have started by focusing on Essex.
Memory Maps: About the project
The Memory Maps project is about people and their relationship with place. It is about objects that are associated with particular areas as well as prints and paintings of named locations. The project is a collaboration between Marina Warner, Professor of Creative Writing and her department at the University of Essex and the V&A.