Festival Day 17th November
Group 42 The Woollies Installation – This piece is based on a story called ‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness (2011). Within the story the young boy Connor’s mother is dying of cancer and is all about how he must learn to become an adult, however his age is preventing him from doing this. The story consists of a Yew tree that at first takes role of the villain but as the story develops and he is just found to be misunderstood, as the tree consists of both good and evil. As the tree is the root of the story we chose to incorporate it within the design and have each of the branches as a development of Connor’s emotions. However, they are tangled because he is not old enough and doesn’t feel ready to experience this. Overall this is to represent the emotional state of a child, hence the choice of colours, developing into an adult but needing help and support along the way.
At 2pm the festival began with our installation being left to gain an audiences response, but also our turn to go and see everyone else's final pieces. Everyone within the festival had gone for very different extravagant ideas varying from immersive interactive and performances. For me the installations that drew my attention were interactive and had members from the original group with it. For example, the one group did a speed dating table so without taking part you couldn’t have the experience. However, this needed willing volunteers to join in for their installation to work, so having to rely on other students made it inconsistent. I also liked the Piñata and the painting throwing pieces of work as you could get involved, but once the Piñata was destroyed the design went from interactive to just a visual. This group might have wanted the student involvement to help finish their final piece so that it was a natural decision to how it ended up. As I was viewing other people’s work I realised I was much more drawn to designs that needed participation. Also, that if someone was next to the installation to explain the idea the audience responded differently compared to someone not knowing the subject matter.
After I went around the festival I returned to our groups installation to gain feedback and a general sense of response from people that had come to see our piece, who hadn’t any prior knowledge about our starting point. I wrote down a list of words that people instantly responded with as I asked them key questions such as what was your initial response when seeing it? How did you feel emotionally? Was there a sense of claustrophobia whilst passing through the staircase? All these questions got many different responses which are listed below.
- Inside my own brain
- Happy thoughts exciting
- Tripping out
- The Eden project
- Bright colours
- Don’t want to touch it
- Happy colours
- Spiders web
- Bogey man
- War of the worlds
- Tension and trapped
- It’s lit
- Cage look but colour makes you feel safer
- Colour more approachable
Most of these were very happy emotions and I believe it was in fact the colour and lighting that really did affect the emotions. One person mentioned if this design was made completely out of black, brown and grey you would feel a lot more scared entering and it would be a lot more intense rather than the inviting colours that we opted for.
From this festival, I am very pleased with our outcome and the responses we gained were as predicted if not more comforting than expected. We found as a group once people knew what our installation was about their responses changed and they could clearly see how it influenced us and all our ideas behind it. As a future development I’d prefer for each group to have a title block outside of the installation so that you don’t have to be hovering around it waiting for those that ask. I found this as an issue as one of the pieces I wanted to review didn’t have anyone present or consist of a title block, so I didn’t know who’s work it was.
Overall, I felt the exhibition was a success for our piece and that my collaborative group had worked very well together and had developed many collaborative skills throughout the entire process.