• Still taken from Ower Bit Bog Oil (1963 -1964) by J Eric Hall.

  • Still taken from Ower Bit Bog Oil (1963 -1964) by J Eric Hall.

Ower Bit Bog Oil (2014)

The artworks include 17 small trinket boxes of varying shapes and sizes, text, black velvet inserts, clay balls, enamel paint.

Inspired by the film Ower Bit Bog Oil (1963-1964) by amateur film maker J Eric Hall that depicts the game of knurr and spell (described in the film as ‘a poor mans golf’) I reappropriated 17 trinket boxes, turning each one into a fictional snippet of the player’s lives. The film was originally commissioned by a curator at Bollin Hall museum to keep a record of the game which was thought to be dying out. Mr Hall wanted to complete the project by including footage of men actually making the porcelain knurrs (balls) and spells (mallets), however in a newspaper interview he states that ‘the makers are very difficult to find’ and this footage is not included in the final film leading to the conclusion that indeed he was unable to find any knurr manufacturers.

Consequently I became a fictional knurr manufacturer, imagining each knurr owners story and placing in it in the kind of trinket box that I remembered male members of my family keeping treasured items (such as a winning ball) in.

The work Ower Bit Bog Oil (2014) is one of nine works produced as part of the 9 Archives Project that included research and collaboration with 9 regional film archives in the UK.

With thanks to Yorkshire Film Archives.