Critical Rationale – Just A Line To Say

Just A Line To Say is a project that explores how communication during times of conflict has changed over time between 1914 and 2015. This project began by inheriting some old World War One silk embroidered postcards sent from the front. These postcards are incredibly detailed and interesting artifacts and led to research in to the different ways of communicating during World War One. Also the contrast in the way the soldiers would contact home from the front between then and the warfare of today and how soldiers can contact home in this technologically advanced world, which is vastly different to the world the First World War soldier would have been living in. Overall this project is based on the changes and contrasts of the line of communication that is available for soldiers and their loved ones throughout different times of conflict.

Just A Line To Say draws from people’s personal experiences of communicating with loved ones at home and the different ways that ex and current soldiers have found to be the most effective lines of communication. It also draws upon personal collections of letters and postcards; these have been interpreted and used as part of this project.

The work itself provides its own context due to the academic nature physicality of the subjects shown as part of this project.

Similar to Bernd and Hilla Becher’s project the Watertowers (Becher and Becher 1988), Just A Line To Say uses the technique of repetition to make a poignant statement about the subject. The use of the repetition makes a seemingly uninteresting and quite bland object become more beautiful the more times it is repeated and displayed as part of a wider body of work.

The bright background colours derive from the work Studio Kapsede (Duncker 2012) and Protocol Gifts (Duncker 2014) of Henrik Duncker by using this it allows the subjects to standout from the background and highlights the finer more intricate details that are found upon a deeper inspection of the objects themselves.

The layout of the project Just A Line To Say is based on a timeline style template. This is to exaggerate the ways in which communication during times of conflicts and training for conflicts has changed between 1914 and 2015. The timeline style of this layout allows for the viewers to pick out a specific time and see which forms of communication were in action during that particular timeframe.

In future if more artefacts could be collected and be attached on to the timeline this would increase the amount of photographs that could be seen by the audience. This would enable the viewers to gain even more information and to be able to explore deeper in to the ideas around how communication has changed.

Overall, Just A Line To Say speaks to the communicator in all of us. Its interest in times of conflict brings an element of patriotism in which the viewer can sympathize and expand upon. It’s overarching theme is that while modes of communication may change, the troops will always want to be home.



Becher, B. and Becher, H. (1988) Watertowers. MIT Press

Duncker, H. (2012) Studio Kapsede.

Duncker, H. (2014) Dāvanas Pēc Protokola (Protocol Gifts).