Rennie Taylor

Gramps' Crib Board

Gramps’ Crib Board is a short , animated narrative film about my grandfather’s relationship to the game of cribbage while he was a prisoner of war in Bavaria during WWII. Cribbage is a game of strategy and scoring combinations. It uses a wooden board with counting pegs for tallying up points, a deck of cards and is usually played with two to four players.

An accompanying dialogue within the film captures a few moments of my grandfather’s experience in the camp as we imagine how the game helped to transcend the grim reality of his four years of imprisonment.

Underscoring this film is an original interpretation from the marching song “Colonel Bogey March,” a well-known tune that was practiced by military troops during their marches.

Playing cribbage with my family during this time of quarantine reminds us of how cultural rituals can sustain individuals and communities through uncertain situations. Working with the elements of the game, this animation takes the viewer through a transitory journey of confinement and, ultimately, to a new beginning.

Rennie Taylor is an artist who focuses on the visual representation of language in text, signs and symbols. Engaging the practices of photography, filmmaking and collage, he explores themes of mass-consumerism, the handmade and disasters. He often investigates obsolete formats with an emphasis on material manipulation informed by experimental filmmaking techniques. Recent subjects are historical signage, deteriorating architecture and old product labels. His work is characterized by a celebration of the unusual and forgotten.