Monday, 19 March 2012

Dream Walking - Lucifer

And so we come to the last instalment of images made for Dream Walking.

Clue: Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile.
While you've a Lucifer to light your fag, smile, boys, that's the style.

Many people are familiar with the idea that Lucifer is a demon or devil, but the story behind Lucifer shows that he is a far more complex creature than purely evil. Lucifer is originally the angel of music and the most beautiful angel serving in heaven. But he begins to rebel against God's rule and is expelled from heaven, banished and fallen to earth. Full of bitterness, Lucifer decides to attempt to get his own back on God by trying to persuade the people on earth to do evil and turn away from God.

Lucifer is also an old fashioned term used in Britain to mean a light or flame. The clue are words from a well known World War II era song, asking for a light for a cigarette!

We became interested in the idea of flying as a theme for our Dream Walk when we noticed how many images of angels are scattered around this area. Our image for Lucifer, with angel wings aflame, could be found on the Old Angel Inn on Stoney Street. It seemed fitting as the rebellious angel of music to refer to Lucifer at the Inn, where they often host heavy metal music!

We have started working on a book as a result of our Dream Walk, which will include some of these images, our reflections on walking, curating walks and looking sideways. The book is due to be available in late Spring, so follow this blog, sign up for email notifications above or follow Jo on Twitter @JoDacombe for news and updates.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Dream Walking - The Space Station and the Key Brothers

Another instalment explaining the ideas behind the clues from our Dream Walking event. Last one next week!

Clue: The Key Brothers, know as the Flying Keys, broke the flight endurance record in 1935 by walking on the plane while still flying so they did not have to land for maintenance.
Crossed Keys are the symbol of St Peter's keys to heaven and are found on old tiles and buildings around Nottingham.  Can you find crossed keys here?

It's all about flying machines this week. Under the red brick pillars on St Mary's Gate, near St Mary's Church, we placed an image of the Key Brothers' plane, the Curtiss Robin, with a man walking on the wings! The Key Brothers constructed a catwalk so that they could walk across their plane whilst still airborne. An amazing, daring attempt!

We made the connection with the keys (put together with our theme of flying we discovered the story of the Flying Keys) when we saw the illustration of the crossed keys tile, found here in the 14th century.  The illustration is located on the wall just underneath where we placed our image.

There is also a Cross Keys pub near here, on Byard Street, which may have been the original  brewery and alehouse of the nearby 12th Century St Peter's Church.  For more on the long history of the Cross Keys Tavern, visit their website.

Clue: A permanent observatory to look down upon the Earth and out at the universe.

The Pod Office, at the junction of Fletcher Gate and Bottle Lane, is a brand new, award winning modern building. We looked at it for some time, it seems to be made of modular pieces and gleaming white walls overlapping walls, and irregularly placed windows. It's architecture is intentionally contemporary in style and suggests newness, the future. We started thinking about space exploration, the idea of the pod and the style of the building with its sections inspired the idea of the International Space Station.

I was lucky enough to visit NASA at the Kennedy Space Centre some years ago and see part of the Space Station being made and a section launched into space on its journey to connect with the rest of the Station under construction. The Space Station is built in parts, or pods, each country involved building a part on earth and then bolting it together up in space.  I saw the part built by the Italians! The idea of this working space centre of the future, built in pods, and the modern building of the Pod Offices seemed to fit well, so we placed an image of the Space Station on the Pod's curving wall.

There are some great images of the Pod Office building, inside and out, on their website, here.

We are planning a small book as a result of the Dream Walk, with images and words about walking and looking and thinking sideways! Follow this blog to keep up to date on our progress, you can subscribe by email, follow with Google Friends Connect or follow us on Facebook, all these can be found in the right hand column at the top of this blog.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Dream Walking - Icarus and the lacewing

The next weekly installment of my explanations for the images we created for Dream Walking.

Clue:  Friends of gardeners and lace makers.

Since our walk took you through the historic lace market area of Nottingham, where lace and textiles are still made in smaller ways, we had to have something about lace.

We asked Debbie Bryan's Studio & Shop in St Mary's Gate if we could place something to do with lace on their building.  Again, this is another instance where the business occupying the building influenced the creation of the image.

Debbie has a wonderful collection of original drawings of lace designs from historic Nottingham lace manufacturers.  Our idea reminded her of a drawing in the collection that looked a little like wings, and she showed us this drawing.

This is a draftman's drawing created by Fewkes, formerly Charles Farmer Lace, established around 1910.

I decided to use an adaptation of the lace design to create the wings of a lacewing, an insect that gardeners like because they eat the aphids that can infest plants.  This is one of my favourite images that I made, and well done to LJ for doing all the intricate cutting out!

Clue:  Don't fly too close to the sun!

Shining a torch at Icarus
Perspektiv Marketing on Stoney Street have a large, dark gateway into their building.

We spotted that their gate had a big octagonal shape in the middle that just begged for us to put an image on!

We imagined what might fit onto this octagonal shape... and came up with the idea of a sun ... by reversing the reflective image, we decided to have the silhouette of Icarus flying across a gleaming sun - very strange to see a sun glowing out at you at night!

Icarus is a character from Greek mythology, who attempted to escape from his imprisonment on the island of Crete by flying with wings constructed from wax and feathers.  But he ignored warnings from his father not to fly too close to the sun, and as he got too close to the heat of the sun it melted the wax that held his feathers together and he plunged to the earth.

We liked the image here by these big imposing gates which perhaps suggested imprisonment in this dark corner, but our Icarus was escaping!  I also like the imaginative link with Perspektiv Marketing, who use their own creative solutions to aim to fly high!  But not too high, I hope...