Back in April when I (Emma Balch) visited Bayeux to meet with the team who had invited us to bring Unicorns, Almost to the city (as part of the D-Day 75th anniversary) I was able to see the Bayeux Tapestry at Bayeux Museum. I remember the tapestry being a favourite subject of mine at primary school, and us collectively drawing sections of it that we glued together along a long wall for an exhibition. So I was glad of the opportunity to see it in person. This 70 metre long embroidery tells the story of the conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy, in 1066. The audio-guide commentary really is fantastic and gives insight into this witty, crude, bizarre, brutal, and utterly beautiful social and history documentary.
When I met with Leslie Oschmann in Bayeux to talk about ideas for the immersive audio experience, she suggested that we make a nod to the tapestry and create a panel on old WW2 tarpaulins. I loved the idea, and we chose some extracts from Keith Douglas’s poems and some of his drawings to use for the panels. Leslie also selected one of the photos of Keith Douglas as a small child as the basis of a painting on the tarpaulin and stitched toy lead soldiers onto the canvas. We are hoping to work with Ville de Bayeux to find a home for the Unicorns, Almost installation and immersive audio experience, and if we do we will develop this 3D element of the tapestry.