Monday, 27 February 2012

Dream Walking - Wendy and Adam

Continuing my weekly explanation of the ideas behind the images for our Dream Walk.

Clue:  Wendy, Wendy, when you are sleeping in your silly bed, you might be flying with me saying funny things to the stars instead.

A flying girl appeared in the window of Tanners on Pelham Street.

This is one of my favourite images, and one of the early ideas that set us off on linking images to the theme of flying.

Just underneath the windows is a plaque, commemorating that J M Barrie, the writer of Peter Pan, used to work as a journalist in this building in 1883, as a writer for the Nottingham Journal.

He may even have sat at his desk, staring out of that particular window and imagining the image of Wendy escaping out of the window and flying off into the night.

Clue:  The Creation of Adam

We wanted to create something for the Adams Building, now used by New College Nottingham.

Though not strictly about flying, in Michelangelo's famous depiction of the Creation of Adam, the image of God appears to be floating through the sky as he approaches the figure of Adam to give him life.

The Creation of Adam ties in with the building itself, with Adam and creating as themes.  Named after its original owner, Thomas Adam, a great lace manufacturer and Christian philanthropist, the building is considered one of the finest and largest surviving Victorian lace warehouses in the country.  Built between 1854 and 1874 in stages, the building has an Italian influence and many decorative details, including relief depictions of trade and travel, demonstrating its links to international trade.

The building became neglected and was in a bad state when the Lace Market Heritage Trust decided to restore it to house a Further and Higher Education College there, New College Nottingham.  CPMG Architects, another one of the local businesses who supported our Dream Walk with the use of their offices for one of our works, designed the restoration.

I really like the fact that New College Nottingham uses the building for textile courses, amongst other things, thereby connecting back to the building's original heritage in the lace industry.

There is another connection here to our image.  Where we placed it, to one side of a door on St Mary's Gate, appears a painted Manufacturers Only sign - with a hand pointing.  We placed Adam's hand so that it would point to it!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Dream Walking - the witch's ladder and Pegasus

Continuing the explanation behind the clues from our Dream Walk in Nottingham.

Clue: It was believed that witches cast a death spell over a person by tying the knots and then hiding the cord, and the only way to undo the spell was to find the secreted cord and untie each knot.

Hanging from a tree at the top of Bottle Lane we hung a number of feathers tied to a string.

This was inspired by The Witches Ladder, an art work by Klaus Weber that we had seen at Nottingham Contemporary, where he tied feathers to a rope.  When we looked into the idea of witches' ladders, we discovered the magic behind it of tying knots in string.  The feathers linked the idea to our theme of flying.

Clue:  Where travelling horses rest.

The image of Pegasus, the flying horse, was inspired by something that Managing Director David Glazebrook of CPMG Architects told us.  We had asked Mr Glazebrook if we could put one of our images behind the gate where they were storing their bins by their offices in Warser Gate, because it was a really dark space that could be seen from the street and would work really well with the reflective material that we made all the images from.  He said that that area would originally have been where horse drawn carriages would go in and out to transport the lace manufactured here, the original use for the buildings that CPMG now use.  So we felt we should have a horse image, but linking with our theme of flying it became Pegasus, the flying horse!

Photo by Matt Vaughan
To see pictures of our works glowing in the dark at Light Night, click here. 

Monday, 13 February 2012

Dream Walking - the dove and the bluebottle

Our first walk, Dream Walking, took place last Friday with over 160 people taking part!  We had a lot of fun - thanks to everybody who came along!

Over the next few weeks I will be writing about each of the eleven images that we made for the Dream Walk and put in locations around the streets.

Clue:  A bottle that flies!

The first image our walkers came across was the fly in Waterstone's window.  We made the fly by putting together the overall theme for the walk (flying) with the location, Bottle Lane - giving us the idea of the Bluebottle fly!

In conversation with one of our participants, who spoke English as a second language, this image gave him the most trouble as he had no idea that there was such a thing as a bluebottle fly, and so he was looking for an actual bottle with wings!

I am always interested in the naming of things and what they can tell us about history, and the Nottinghamshire History website has some clues as to why this small street was called Bottle Lane, as well as some other information on street names around this area.  Click here and read the last paragraph about Bottle Lane.

Clue:  Flying for peace!

This image was an easy one to come up with.  We wanted to make something appropriate for St Mary's Church, and to link in with our overall theme of flying.  So the image of a dove suggested itself and you could find this image on the back of the sign for St Mary's Church on the entrance by Stoney Street and Kaye's Walk.

The dove has become a symbol of peace for many people, but the original idea for this seems to come from early Christian symbolism.  Originally the dove represented the peace of the soul of the individual, but later on came to be a symbol of peace between peoples such as in wars or conflict.  The dove is mentioned in the New Testament as appearing at the baptism of Jesus like a holy spirit, and is also mentioned in the Hebrew text the Talmud, when "the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters like a dove".

We have now included a photo album of our works at Light Night on our Facebook page.  They looked great glowing in the dark!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dream Walking on Friday!

Our first curated walk Dream Walking is taking place this Friday!

LJ has checked all the sites for our interventions, Jo has labelled all the torches and has a box full of printed maps, and we are ready to go!

All the events for Light Night are listed in the brochure, you can download it here.

We will be handing out our maps and torches from 6 to 9.30pm.

See you there!