Love this clip from 1980s animation of Roald Dahl’s wonderful story:
“Dreams is like pictures in books. If I wants to make a story I have to mix up a lot of dreams together”
Last week we made a model of the Parlour Showroom space, and inside, we have been playing with paper, images and ideas. woohoo! It has been fun.
ARCHIVE: The main questions we had were: *How do we archive the illustrations? *How can what we individually make or write contribute to a bigger (more beautiful) piece? *How is this visible or accessible for anyone to read/explore/create their own experience? After some thought and exploration, we have decided to create a story “cloud” where the image and text fragments will coexist to create a body of work. hmmmm.
Prototype at The Tobacco Factory Theatre is platform to experiment with ideas in performance. We created a mini-storybooth at their last event. It is quite exposing to show a work-in-progress, and initially I found the process rather revealing, and difficult to digest. Especially because the idea is raw, and still in developing stages.
However, the feedback we received has informed the development of the project, and it was so, so, so important to try the idea out, even though we knew it was far from a polished/finished piece.
The most useful feedback related to the way we exhibit the images. And, as a group we have since had many conversations about ARCHIVE, and are exploring ways of doing this in a more meaningful way.
The other useful notes were about how we engage with people. A couple of the audience members were particularly sensitive to giving, and felt that they gave us more than they got back. I was not expecting this response of the text-to-illustation-exchange, but it is something else to think about.
I met up with Dave from The Bristol Story Lab today and as well as giving me an insight into the storytelling project coming to Bristol this year, he recommended watching this inspiring talk about Valencia 826.
The Storybooth project has moved on LOADS recently. We now have an amazing team of artists on board, working in many disciplines (including performance, music, set design, puppetry, clowning, model-making, painting, installation etc. etc.)…all of us love experimenting, making drawings, and we are all interested in making socially engaged work.
Artists collaborating on the project are Philippa Thomas, Jonny Farr, Debbie Hard, Mike Powell and Emma Powell. I’ve added links to their websites. And of course I should also add my website!
It is incredibly exciting that so many creative people are working on the project. We had a meeting this week which was great -lots of ideas and questions. And we are going to make a (very) sketchy test run of the process on Sunday at Prototype -a sketch night at the Tobacco Factory Theatre.
As for the shape of the project: well, the idea is simple -making a collaborative story through illustriaon. However, framing it is becoming more complex the more I think about it. The prototype on Sunday will be really useful to physically test the idea and understand how it will work.
The Storybooth installation has just been confirmed by the lovely curators at the Parlour Showrooms for the weekend of the 18th May. How exciting! The show will be an experimental installation, where illustration is made collaboratively; both between artists, and collaboratively with members of the community who choose to be involved. We will build the work we make in the space over the course of the 4 days, and then produce a book that documents a collective story.
Even in its most traditional form, an illustration encourages participation, and informs our understanding of the world around us. When we read an illustrated book to a child, for example, we relate the image we see to the world around us. “Look the bear in the picture is wearing red trousers, just like Grandpa’s red trousers”…. “the duck has fluffy feathers, just like this fluffy pillow”. It informs, connects, leaps out of the page, becomes part of our everyday.
It is the moment between the page and the reality that I am interested in exploring; the moment you are interacting with the image you see, the moment you are relating it the world around you, the moment where reality and the make believe world is blurred.
This is why I want to create a space for you to get involved, for us to create a story together. An exchange. In this installation I want to open up this world, and literally step inside, create a space where ideas and inspiration for stories, become images and stories, and these inspire more ideas and which become images.
Last night I went to another wonderful and inspiring Spoon Fed event. It was held at the Parlour Showrooms, which are disused-shops-turned-gallery spaces in Bristol. I was chatting to the curators and they said they have space in their program in May. So, (thinking to my self “eek, it is not a huge amount of time to make this happen but what the heck it’ll be really fun to make it happen”) I may provisionally use one of the spaces for Storybooth (the small room). I’m going to go in this week and confirm it. Exciting but also eeek!