Thursday, 15 December 2011

ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATION WILLESDEN GREEN ON JOTTA

Cabinet of Curiosity: jotta artist contributes to lifesize advent calendar
By Millie Ross –  15.12.2011
  
The festive season signals a few exciting prospects, mince pies, mulled wine, and advent calendars! The Architecture Foundation and Brent Council have joined forces to create a life-size advent calendar on Willesden Green, with emerging artists and designers bringing the shop windows of the high street to life. jotta member Caroline Collinge transforms The Samaritans.
The local shops participating in the project include the jewellers, barbers, a kebab shop, a pound shop, Caribbean snack supplies, a gift shop and the local hair stylist. Day by day until Christmas, 25 local shops and businesses will play host to the creations of wildly inventive design teams who will make each shopfront into a life-sized advent adventure.
When the project was first dreamed up a month ago, the call out was placed on jotta and beyond, and submissions to contribute designs flooded in from all over the world. The chosen design teams include architects, film set designers, product designers, fashion designers, cabinet makers, art directors, graphic designers and even a film-maker.
One of that talented bunch is jotta member Caroline Collinge, who works across film, installation and performance, while also reseraching the Baroque and performance design for a PhD at London College of Fashion. Her recent solo exhibition, A Picture Unfolds, utilised origami, costume and architectural elements to recreate the fascinating story of the London A-Z, building an architectural fantasy of the city streets which the map's creator, Phyllis Pearsall, obsessively traversed.
Caroline's is also one half of creative duo Cabinet of Curiosity, with Bartlett School of Architecture graduate Edmond Salter. Together they worked with The Samaritans on Willesden Green to create a window based upon "the idea of renewal and recycling using a poem by William Shakespeare 'The Phoenix and the Turtle', with a paper phoenix as a central motif." Explains Caroline, "We created a window display which reflected some of the origins of the nativity - as we opened on the 2nd day of Christmas - in addition to reflecting the history of Willesden and the nature of the site."
Look out for Caroline's work in 2012, as she has a slew of exciting projects ahead: from Thames Festival education project, 'Rivers of the World', (which we spoke to jotta member Chloe Bonfield about recently), to production design on actress Romola Garai's forthcoming short film 'Scrubber', to costume design for virtuoso cellist Li Lu. And if that wasn't enough, Collinge will be exhibiting her paper costumes at the Royal College of Art.
The full Advent window calendar will be on show this weekend with a series of festive workshops and activities, including Caroline's paper and origami workshop B a Bird. The installations will be up until January 2012, The Samaritans shop then plans to auction the Cabinet of Curiosity paper art to raise money for their charity.

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