Ella Bean MA Design: Illustration

Working alongside the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum’s (now known as Fireground) archive of London Road fire station. I have used illustration as a research method to translate memories through illustration. Demonstrating the value of creative work within museums and archival research and extension.

The Control Room project portrays the less represented, but a fundamental cog in the machine that is the fire service. The women of the control room were one half of the job, but also a large part of the community and support system to the firemen. I created a variety of responses, intended to be utilised by the museum. Extending upon the archive through illustrations, zines, and interactive pieces. My aim is to translate the archival information into a visual form that may be informative and educational.

Using Fuzzy Felt as a vessel, the interactive experience allows the audience to contribute to this translation of memory. Connecting the past and present through imagination and individual interpretation. The Fuzzy Felt piece may also represent what I do as the artist within this project; interpreting, presenting and illuminating a memory with the hope of maintaining it. Each interpretation is individual but all valid and important to this community’s story. Through interaction, the audience is now a part of the project and the memory.