Dennis Potter was passionate about the Forest of Dean, and the close knit community and beautiful landscape in which he grew up. The Dennis Potter Archive project celebrates the visionary work and legacy of Dennis Potter in the place, and with the people, that played such an important part in his life and career.
The Dean Heritage Centre in partnership with Voices in the Forest, the University of Gloucestershire and The Rural Media Company secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Local Action Group to purchase, preserve and display the Dennis Potter Archive at the Heritage Centre. The funding also allowed us to work with local young people on a Potter inspired film production, Buried Heart.
“Deep in the forest is their place. It always has been, since they were kids.”
Buried Heart was inspired by Dennis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills. Written by Linda Marshall Griffiths with and about young people from the Forest of Dean, Buried Heart captures the unsettling nature of Potters work and world.
Much of Dennis Potter’s work was concerned with a search for the self and the notion of betrayal. Buried Heart continues the exploration of these themes but further explores and connects Potter’s world to contemporary life. By working with young people from the Forest of Dean Buried Heart not only creates a deeper connection to Potter’s work, but also the people and the places that inhabit it.
Buried Heart is a very real legacy of Potter’s work and life. The project has already given 18 young people from the Forest of Dean an opportunity to positively engage in artistic activities, and contribute to a new piece of work that will tell their stories about their rural community.
The Dennis Potter Archive project partners with Lord Bragg
Rural Media have also been working with volunteers at the Dean Heritage centre, training them in the use of digital media to record interviews (film and audio) with local people who knew or worked with Potter for the new Dennis Potter exhibition at the DHC.
The Potter collection comprises material spanning several decades of his writing
career, and incorporates typewritten, handwritten or copies of scripts, notebooks and
production documentation of his plays. It also includes well known works and
unpublished works, initial drafts and final scripts.
Lord Bragg, broadcaster, author and friend of Dennis Potter paid a visit to the project in October.
Lord Bragg said: “I think the idea of using the archive as a launching pad, irrigating the appetites of the young people of the area, is as good as it gets really. I couldn’t think of a better way to employ it, rather than it being something to be stared at. Taking it on the way that you are doing is very imaginative, it’s the sort of thing that Dennis would have been extremely happy with”
The Dennis Potter Archive is an important historical archive but the DHC would also
like it to become a living, lasting legacy by including memories, memorabilia and
artefacts from people in the local area who either knew, worked with or have
recollections of time with Potter. The Potter archive and exhibition is due to open in 2012.
If you would like to donate items or memories to the archive please contact the centre on 01594 822170 or email email@example.com. Fior more information on Rural Media's project contact Adrian on firstname.lastname@example.org