'Sea of Words' is a new animated film which was commissioned by the Parliamentary Archives from Nottingham based artist Trevor Woolery
The project was originally devised as part of Parliament’s 2012 'Arts in Parliament' programme and was designed to reflect some of the outreach work undertaken by the Parliamentary Archives during its 'People and Parliament: Connecting with Communities' programme. During 2011, as part of that programme, the Archives worked in partnership with Glamorgan Archives and Grangetown Local History Society in Cardiff in order to explore Parliament’s role in the development of Cardiff docks during the nineteenth century. A short film which describes the research that was undertaken can be found here.
In order to make the animated film the artist revisited the subject with members of the Grangetown group at both the Parliamentary Archives and Glamorgan Archives. Inspired by the reactions of the group to the unique documentary material held by both repositories the artist has sought to portray the story of the docks’ development through the eyes of David Morse, a ship’s pilot who travelled to Westminster in 1866 in order to give evidence to a House of Lords private bill committee on the Bute Docks Bill.
The soundtrack to the film is sung by members of Grangetown Local History Society. Donkey Riding is a traditional song. The donkey referred to was a small steam engine used by dock workers to load and unload ships.
The Parliamentary Archives is grateful for the assistance given by the Curator’s Office at the Palace of Westminster during this project.