engineers of the Imagination – PDP No.2

Over the course of the five weeks I worked alongside Becky, Elliot and kubus. With each of us bringing something different to the table we worked extremely well despite the odd hiccup. Like the first half of field I worked with Becky and Elliot and found our skills were very contrasting. On the other hand, my new friend Kubus had an alternative train of thought. I found that just from talking to him that our brains spoke the 3D language. This was definitely exciting.

The poem given to us for the project i found hard to read and managed just about half way. Slowly picking up small parts of the text I made note of the scenery, characters and the many intertwining hidden themes. These elements of the poem deemed important for the making of our piece. Gathered with the group I relayed these important quotes and we applied them to newly born ideas.

From here an array of colours and large pieces of paper brought us to asking particular questions, these being; ‘how should the story be portrayed? And should it be obvious?’ would telling the story have a massive impact on our piece or not? And if so, do we approach it directly and show the actual theme or be ambiguous? And what would be the effects of doing so?  We also questioned the purpose of the story, ‘is it at all a story or a hidden vessel carrying developments and ideas? This was solved by the decision to present the story as though told by the mariner as a future prediction of developments and destruction caused by new generations. This we discussed would only be portrayed through the appropriate use of materials and processes. We needed a material that was recyclable, man manipulated and also organic or natural. The importance of this led us to choosing paper as our base medium. From using the paper we were able to manipulate and push theories to extend our 3D techniques. When working with the paper we realised that the cut edges and clean lines can be used in many ways. This was also applied to curves and folds, the changes made to the paper were made to represent the different elements of our world we have manipulated, pushed and ruined to suit our selfish needs. Or as Elliot put it, ‘it is the constant collapse of our ecosystem, with each fold our world is slowly falling in on us!’.

To support our use of paper as a medium we turned to pop up children’s books and science books. The books were an example of how to use depth and dynamics when using layers. When reading the story you are pulled into the scenery and turning the pages becomes an exciting and magical endeavour. The collection of books was kindly supplied to us by Chris.

Moving forward, we produced a sketch for the layout of our piece. The flooded city represented the damage done by generations of people polluting and damaging there earth. The mountains are clear with land, perfect for habitants. Keeping the boat from ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner ‘, we brought the elements up to speed and gave it a new purpose. The albatross is represented by the drone; this feature has also been brought into the 21st century. We made these changes for our audience to familiarise and connect with.

With everything to hand and all planning complete we went ahead with the making and construction of the piece. To begin, Becky attached the buildings (all attachments were made with double sided sticky tape). Kubus was very successful with the trees. His pulling system was both professional and sophisticated. He used the technique of origami to construct the drone. Elliot’s mountains were the trickiest. It was a struggle to make them sit upright and collapse properly.  My boat also presented me with many challenges, scale, structure and shape. All pulled through eventually.

Visiting our venue was very exciting; I had never been to ‘The World of Boats’ and the space provided was more than enough for the project. Run by a father and son, our venue is a café, boat restoration workshop and museum, as well as a restaurant. The space was a mixture of bright and dark rooms and the atmosphere was very welcoming. Chris gave me the honour of being the director of the main room, the restaurant/café. Being a reasonably sized room I was given a few things to consider. These things included; the layout of the artwork in the room, lighting and dynamics. All the requirements were met and the planning for the show was well on its way.

Having worked out the rest of the room the last thing to consider was where my groups work was going to be placed. Having made our decision very quickly we were able to firmly put our feet down and be content with the position in of our piece. This also meant that that we had plenty of time to think about possible changes and improvements. We chose the restaurant room, the main room. Our reason for this was because the clean white paper of our piece fitted in with the decorum. Baring in mind the ‘sailor’ theme running through our venue, I came up with the idea to place our piece on a stack of wooden pallets. The possibility of getting these crates from the owners of the venue became very slim, instead I loaned them from The Doctor Who experience next door.

Finally to conclude this terribly long essay about the second half of field, I wish to talk about the opening night and how I personally feel about this project. The show turned into such a wonderful evening, there was plenty of guests, food and drink plus live performances and artwork. As a group we performed a silent unravelling of our piece. We transformed a flat chaotic mess into a story telling landscape. It was a great performance, on the other hand we lacked the ability to hold our audiences attention for more than a minute. Over all I am pleased with the turnout of our work. We jelled amazingly as a group and the weeks flew by.  The subject topic wasn’t too easy and presented us with a challenge. If I were to develop on this piece I would move away from the use of paper and experiment with scale. I mentioned to the group during the stage of planning about the impact of making the piece bigger, but they opted out and went for a more ‘manageable’ size. If I had the opportunity to work in a group again I would open my arms, but for the moment I think some much needed TLC on my own work is needed



Penarth Pavilion

I filled my afternoon with a long walk along Penarth beach and a coffee in the pavilion. love the floor and artwork…

My contribution…

To contribute to the piece I came up with a few ideas. To go along side the tunnels in the house I thought small houses and trees would enhance the winter wonderland theme and fill the remaining shelf space. Made from paper the houses and trees slot together, no glue is needed and they are recyclable. I used white paper as it ties in with the clean tones and lines of the larger house. As an additional touch, electronic tea lights sat under the houses and shone a warm yellow glow through the windows. Spindled fake snow added that extra magical feel. The houses, trees and snow made the inside of the house look like a small village celebrating festivities.

Tin foil…The basement to the shop is dark and miserable and really needed something to brighten it up. Amelia brought to the shop large sheets of tin foil…I had an idea!! Using the foil and lots of masking tape I was able to form a tunnel that swept all the way around to the bottom of the stairs leading up to the house. This covered the crumbling walls of the basement and was the perfect material to bounce light off.  I was pleased with the results of this material and I found it came alive and rattled as you walked past it. It made the tunnel feel magical!

Stars…Going up the stairs I made a small constellation of stars from paper. Using the same technique as the illustrative tunnels, the stars were small cuts into a large piece of black card. This I used to form an archway over the stairs and cover more of the dirty walls and cracked plaster. With a large space behind the arched paper, I placed fairs lights that shone through and gave a warm glow…

Black, black and more black…To cover the sides of the stairs and the floor of the opening of the staircase I used a combination of black bedsheets and black paper. This made everything look clean and tidy. This colour was chosen because the stairs are painted a dark brown, also any lighting out into the space would work much better…


The tunnels!

The tunnels worked on by Becky, El and John were the main feature inside the house. Carefully cut black card was placed on top of sheets of acetate to form long, large tunnel. The illustrations or narratives on the tunnels are scenes of growing trees, a festive dinner and a choir rehearsing on the streets. Concidering religion, it was hard to figure out what imagery to use. Christmas isn’t celebrated by all religions so our choice needed to appeal widely. We opted for a winter wonderland theme, but also the element of celebration…

First things first…The house!

Federico is in charge of building the house. He collected the all of the materials and with a small amount of help built the structure quite quickly. Using the branches, the house should look out of shape and have character…

The shop 

The shop has three floors, a basement, ground floor and upper floor. It’s a great space for pop up work and is based in central Cardiff in one of many arcades.



‘…imagination instead of official creed, subscribes to non-rational, supernatural, quasi-religions view of the universe: pervasively, but behind our own backs, consuming art forms of the fantastic is only one way that we as non-believers allow ourselves, unconsciously to believe…’  – Victoria Welson