This is Jane Edmond's work in progress towards Halfway Between. Here's what she says:
"It is inspired by 'Halfway between the gutter and the stars', a song by Fat Boy Slim. I hope this quote doesn't contravene some copyright. I have been working on the gutter, picking up the litter I find on walks with the dog. It will not be a quilt, but applique on hessian. The figure is an outline from a life drawing class. I'm having fun doing it, even though I have got to the stage of hating it!"
Thank you Jane - more photos and comments of your work in progress - please email to email@example.com
Following on from my research into "The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus" I decided to make a mock up of a box with a drop down flap, like the wagon in the film - only without wheels!
I made a simple box and then added an upstand.
I realised that I would need some means of holding the front flap up when the box was closed. I thought of a swing catch that I'd used before on a corset, these catchs came from Vena Cava.
Then I had to think of the decoration on my Imaginarium so I thought of various things that had stirred my imagination:
Lord of the Rings
Alice in Wonderland
The Arthur legends (Avalon)
Winnie the witch
Then I drew some symbols inspired by the above list.
Then I started thinking about the background for the symbols. I found a picture I had taken of Brighton Pavilion, the designer of which must've had a marvellous imagination! I love the look of the Pavilion but wanted a more colourful look to my Imaginarium so I used some the effects in Photoshop to achieve this fabulous red colour. The colour was inspired by the interior of the Mad Hatters Tea Room in Margate. Here is a photo of the altered photo stuck to the front of my mock up.
Now on to a bit of sewing!
Of the ideas that I'd brainstormed the following struck a note with me:
who wants to be average?
flash of delight/wonder/excitement
Halfway between the real and the unreal is the surreal.
Neither one thing nor another
So I did some research on eccentric people as that covers the first 3 of these ideas.
whose exhibition at the British Museum I saw last year. Here is an interview with him.
who I've always admired for her fantastic clothes. Here is some information about her.
Who springs readily to my mind on mention of Surreal. Here is a biography.
Neither one thing nor another
Motorhome – halfway between a vehicle and a home; actually not so much neither one thing nor another as both things.
I did some research on Travelling Theatre and found “The Triumph of the Archduchess Isabella in the Brussels Ommeganck of Sunday 31st May, 1615” which is in the Victoria and Albert museum (my favourite museum).
Annual processions similar to this took place all over Europe, and had done since at least the 14th century. In earlier processions, all the wagons were based around religious themes. In England, Bible stories were presented as short plays, numerous wagons taking a section each, until religious drama was suppressed during the Commonwealth. The Brussels procession was a series of tableaux with the performers all holding a pose. By the time this painting was made in the Renaissance period, the procession also included secular scenes of famous people from life and literature well as the religious elements.
I also found some information on Spiegeltents (mirror tents).
Travelling theatre, surreal/imaginative, delight/wonder, and eccentric people put me in mind of the film “The imaginarium of Dr Parnassus”
I like this film because it is a fantasy opus set in London. The theatre wagon and the performers are out of time with modern London. The wagon is fantastically decorated and the costumes are rich and draw on all sorts of countries and times.
I like the familiarity of London and the allusion to travel conferred by the exotic clothing and the symbols on the wagon. I like the fact that it is a vehicle, a home and also a stage.
Here are some of the original drawings for the wagon.
I'm really taken with the idea of an Imaginarium.
“An imaginarium is a place to go for your imagination – to let it flower, let it grow, let it take you places”
I'm off to let my imagination flower, grow and take me places!
I could have put in some puns in my title ... 'Eggciting' 'Eggcetera', but I decided I'm not going to go there. However I do know it seems funny, but there is something in my mind that is telling me that I need to use eggs in my piece for Halfway Between.
A couple of months ago I went on a PGL activity camp with my children, and in the evening we had an egg dropping competition. You had to package your egg in someway, so that it could be thrown off a 2nd floor balcony and still be intact when it reached the ground.
Since then, the image of the egg has stuck in my mind. There is the 'Which came first?' question of course. But that is not what sprung into my thoughts. Beyond that there is halfway between life and non-life. A fertilised egg or a non-fertilised egg. Potential or no potential. Real or fake. Strength and fragility.
I am aiming for an egg suspended in some way. An egg cosy and yet not. How will this unfold? I must take the next step and find out.
I was not able to come to the meeting with the brain storming session on 'Halfway between' so I did a bit of brain storming on my own. Here are my initial thoughts.
Halfway between .........
the near and the far
the detail and the horizon
the sea and the sky………………
the land and the sky ………………is the horizon, what’s on a new horizon?
the water and the sky ……………
the top and the bottom ………… are the stairs
the start and the finish ………… is time
birth and death ……………………… is life
the lost and the found …………… are the un-discovered
Halfway between the extremes are the average ……….who wants to be average?
Halfway between the real and the unreal are the almost real, the ‘I’d like it to be real’, the ‘I wish it were real’, the ‘I feel like it’s real.
Halfway between the real and the unreal is the surreal
Halfway between the joy and the pain is the living it, the day to day relentlessness of it.
If you can find, halfway between the mundane and the necessary, that flash of delight/excitement/wonder then your life will be enriched. Perhaps that’s what eccentric people manage to do and that takes them away and into a whole new view of life.
Thoughts on notes from meeting:
Gutter and Stars:
“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars” Oscar Wilde
Halfway between the gutter and the stars is the an album by Fatboy Slim (2000)
Awake and Asleep:
Halfway between awake and asleep is the blissful state before you remember, before the memory presses down on you; sometimes that memory sneaks up on you and other days it just whams into you.
Black and White:
Halfway between black and white ….. is grey – boring
are all the other colours
Neither one thing nor another:
Surreal, imaginative, eccentric
I then made some collages on some of these thoughts; photos below.
Halfway between the land and the sky is the water
Halfway between the start and the finish is time
Halfway between the top and the bottom are the stairs
The new project for Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles is to be 'Halfway between'. We brainstormed the idea through a range of methods - talking, writing and words, images, paper collage and 3-d collage.
We came up with loads of ideas in a relatively short space of time, and I'm sure there are many more ...
Briefly summarising a few of the responses, some of the themes that could be explored include:
Interpretation as a phrase
Point of view - Specific, precise or vague, ambiguous
Best of both worlds
Compromise by committee
Neither one thing or the other or is it just right?
A stage in a process, a point in a transformation
The missing link
One thing and another
In or out of focus
Light and dark. Near and far. Hot and cold. Earth and air. Adult and child. Young and old. Heaven and hell. Black and white. Thin and fat. Full or empty. Pattern and plain. Science/art. Sunrise/sunset. And many, many more ….
Combinations Pairing of people, or collaboration
Technique Exploration of innovative techniques - hybrid techniques
Physical Location (abstract or specific)
“A human is halfway in size between an atom and the known universe”...
Negative space Spaces in between
Position of something halfway between in a 3-d object
Psychological/spiritual States of being
Awake and asleep. Gutter and the stars.
Fractions. Geographical plates. Molten/solid
Some food for thought ... and in fact food was also one of the ideas sparked by the session - or was it because we were getting near to lunchtime?
News and progress from the group