Legacy is a new exhibition by Scottish artist Roderick Buchanan which opened at Imperial War Museum London
this May. Commissioned by the Museum, Roderick Buchanans work is a response to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, their legacy and recent social, political and economic change.
The work comprises two highly immersive films, titled Scots Irish / Irish Scots, which follow two Scottish flute bands during 2009/10. Commissioned in England, produced in Scotland and filmed in Northern Ireland, the two films are being shown in the gallery space simultaneously, to give both sides equal levels of representation. They are accompanied by a series of portrait photographs of the bandsmen involved and supported by a book by the artist.
The bands central to this artwork are Parkhead Republican Flute Band formed in 1978 and Black Skull Corps of Fife and Drum formed in 1981; two grass root organisations living today with the legacy of the Good Friday Agreement.
To create the films, artist Roderick Buchanan assumed a unique position inside two communities actively engaged in British Unionism and Irish Republicanism. Irish Republicans and Northern Irish Loyalists have always sought and found support in Scotland. During the Troubles, bandsmen from Northern Ireland would travel to Scotland regularly in support of Scotlands major parades; in return Scottish people would do the same for the big parades in Northern Ireland.
Roderick Buchanan says; This has been an extraordinary opportunity to work with groups of people who take the lead communicating their values and beliefs in public. I hope the films are well received and valued as an honest representation of the bandsmens experience.
Diane Lees, Director-General of the Imperial War Museum, says; Roderick Buchanans Legacy is a unique visual record which fulfils our aim of commissioning ambitious and original artwork. The films capture the sights and sounds of marching season from two very different perspectives and we hope this challenges visitors to consider how the legacy of conflict continues to have an impact on life in the United Kingdom.
The Imperial War Museum covers the experiences of all those affected by conflict involving Britain and the Commonwealth from First World War to the present day. The violence associated with Northern Ireland involved long term civil conflict in the United Kingdom, both in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain. It has had major impacts on many aspects of life in the United Kingdom as a whole, as well as broader international implications.