Thursday, 20 November 2014

Lest We Forget

We finally went to see the Poppies at the Tower. I'm so glad we did. 

I was very proud to design a World War One themed play this year as part of the National Trust's commemorations. It was set at Morden Hall Park and was an outdoor promenade (the audience get up, walk about and follow the action) performance which followed the lives of real people who lived and worked at the park, the gardeners in particular. Part of my design brief was to design and create some kind of monument that could look like it was made by one of the young gardeners of the time, to mark the passing of his brother on the front line. 

I was inspired by the soaring, dynamic shapes of the war memorials that have been built since, but wanted to get a hand made, human sized humility to my monument. The idea quickly formed to create a monument out of old gardening tools and utensils. Various friends and family members gladly off-loaded the rakes and spades that were rusting in their potting sheds. 

Soon I had a good handful and enlisted the help of set builder Dean Sudron to construct the monument. 

I found a ready-made planter at the Bristol Wood Recycling Plant that would fit the structure perfectly. The audience would then be invited to 'plant' a paper poppy in the earth surrounding the monument.

 As well as designing the monument and set and costume, I was also given the privilege of designing an exhibition space that held further information on the lives and times of the people of Morden Hall Park

Exhibition Space

Finally in place in the Stable Yard

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