Deborah Smith Projects | Contemporary Arts Organisation

Navigating History

A significant portion of the local studies collections in libraries and archive are only accessible through library/archive catalogues and made available to the public on request. Navigating History co-curated with Proboscis bought to light the unique local history collections through a series of commissioned projects Jason E Bowman, Stephen Connolly, Neville Gabie, Cathy Haynes and Sally O’Reilly, Andrew Hunter, Rob Kesseler, Rachel Murphy, Simon Pope, Mah Rana, Claudia Schenk, Bob and Roberta Smith. The project was sited in the richly diverse collections of East Sussex Record Office in Lewes, Folkestone Library & Museum and West Sussex Local Studies Collection in Worthing Library.

Navigating History’s imaginative and exploratory commissions unearth items from these collections relating to several hundred years of history including 18th Century inventories, early film, maritime history and local newspapers. By interweaving past and present whilst exploring themes of identity and place the commissions open up unusual and new routes into the collections. A maze of narratives from the unexpected to the peculiar, the tragic to the wondrous are revealed from stories of ordinary people to those documenting momentous events.

Commissions have been acquisitioned and are available on request from the record office and libraries.


4 October – 27 November 2004



Bob and Roberta Smith, Day Out, 2004