Monday, 13 June 2016

PAPER MENAGERIE AT FOREST OF IMAGINATION

Paper prototype of a chameleon on a small scale
Laser cut cardboard lemurs and lizards prior to assembly
Laser cut chameleon tails and body parts
Laser cut lemur heads painted in gold and blue
Assembled chameleon and lemur installed in tree
Yellow lizard in tree
Lemurs were assembled like a jumping jack toy so that the body parts had movement
Red chameleon suspended from tree
 We've just completed a commission for the Forest of Imagination Festival in Bath that involved designing and making lemurs, pigeons and lizards to connect with the theme of 'Eyes of the Forest'. Birds view the world through a broader UV spectrum than humans and this determined the bright colours within our cardboard installation. Our 'Paper Menagerie' accompanied a soundscape created by Martyn Ware that was played through speakers hung within the same tree as our installation.

We began the process of making the work by creating a series of small scale animals that enabled us to work out the body parts that would form each of the creatures. We wanted the final installation to have a three dimensional look so we incorporated paper engineering techniques to make the chameleons and puppetry for the lemurs.

Once the creatures had been worked out on a small scale we then scaled up our prototypes, creating a series of drawings that would enable us to use a laser cutting machine to cut out the patterns from cardboard. The cardboard was painted and collaged onto to create exotic textiles that included incorporating coloured acetates within the cut out surface design that gave a stained glass effect. We then assembled the cardboard sculptures using glue and string to bond the parts together.

The piece drew a very positive response from the public and transformed a public square in Bath into an exotic forest for the duration of the festival.

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