Welcome to The Last Argosy.
The Last Argosy is a graphic design research site exploring constructed narrative and visual language generated through found items and archives.
Current projects include:
As a graphic designer I am currently transcribing the archives of Edward C. Rigg. This is a story of an ordinary man who led an extraordinary life. It is a rich resource of detailed historical content, focusing on Edward’s time in the RAF just after the Second World War and documenting his profession as a jet test pilot and military transport pilot during the 1950s and 1960s. The archives contain three main sections: a collection of 24 Ring bind folders, five boxes of slides and a collection of audio interviews. The 24 Ring bind folders are the main section of the archive and was an important role in Edward’s daily life and his links to the past. The physical archive consists mainly of photographs and correspondence with the RAF and Edward’s father. The transcription of the physical and largest archive has presented many design challenges in deciding the most effective way to transcribe and analyse the content. Autoethnography has been key in drawing out stories from the archive.
The discovery in a second hand shop of two small cardboard boxes stuffed full of curious fragments of paper has proved to be a fruitful starting point for narrative development. Close inspection of the contents dating from the late 1940s revealed scraps of information relating to cigarette sales, recipes for home cures and ice cream making equipment located in Lancashire. The mystery of who wrote and saved these notes, and why have they ended up in a second hand shop in Huddersfield sparked creative work, reimagining the characters and lost world that they evoke. The abundance of ephemera contained within provided a rich graphical and typographical record of the period and has been an inspiration for contemporary artists reflecting on the beautiful tactile and historical nature of the resource. We are looking for actors, writers and social historians to collaborate on this project.
A fabulous collection of data found on Brick Lane, London. The archive documents a Pakistani family building a textile import & export business in the 50’s and 60’s and it’s final demise in the 80’s. The Archive has a tactile and personal feel, giving insights into the early occupation of the Pakistani community in Brick Lane.
We are looking for writers, scriptwriters, actors and social historians to work on this project.
We are interested in everyday archives and items relating to personal history and narrative.