What's that hooting and groaning, as though distant Scottish pipers were sneaking up on you? It's a large tartan... a kind of kilted...a sort of person made of different clans, all scrambled up with screeching and skirling sounds, gliding up behind you with dark intention....

Carapace Burlesque is a 2 metre tall sculpture made from recycled kilts. It is remotely controlled by Stephanie Douet, and has a nasty bagpipe soundtrack by Tudor Lukies choking and gurgling under its crinoline. Mark Wrighton makes the radio-controlled part.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Dancing Christmas Tree

My neighbour, her little girl and my father were the cast and production crew for this weedy video. Dad crouched on an upturned paint tin manipulating the 'gliding' of the tree with two wire coat-hangers in his hands, while waggling his head around dementedly with a string of cowbells between his teeth to produce the jingling you may not be able to hear.

Cathy had coached Daisy to produce a cry of surprise when confronted the tree, but after Cathy had walked by several times, Daisy's only response was  'Yucky!'

Anyway the actual finished article is available exclusively from Livestock Productions, and I must say it looks utterly magical!!


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Mandarin robot at the V and A

See us in action at the V&A via this link

A late update - this actually happened in January. A new robot - a celadon-green giant with demented soundtrack of gongs and cymbols, accosting visitors to the V&A's Late Friday live event, curated by Eliza Gluckman.  After our Sinopticon symposium (see http://www.sinopticon.corg.uk/) she was invited to pull this together for the Chinese New Year, and other Sinopticon artists includung Ed Pien, Karen Tam, Wessie Ling and Gayle Chong Kwan took part.

The controls were snatched from me several times as the Green Mandarin danced around with Laura Kriefman and Ellie Johnson from the Guerilla Dance Project, who were wonderful - improvising to the random movements of the robot with beautiful graceful responses - see more of them at http://www.guerilladanceproject.com/

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Hospital Club - Wolf & Badger's Graduate Design awards

A couple of weeks ago I dragged Herself off to Covent Garden for this party to be some of the performance art organised by curator Nathalie Levy of Salon Contemporary. I'd had to full in a health n safety form detailing her cruising speed, radio frequency and current medication, done with a wry leer as she moves as fast as a toddler but hadn't taken into account the powerful effect of the new weights in her skirt. Now when she moves forward the weights swing her around like a giant tartan bell, making it impossible to figure out if she's going forwards, sideways or over the stairs.

We were put next to the lift on the ground floor, and her movements were pretty much beyond prediction. Several guests were tapped in the small of the back or clonked with her wings as she spun drunkenly on the spot.
From Sarah Betty's blog: 'The first thing I saw was this crazy looking fella, who I think was a robot, but actually looked like something from my nightmares! I quickly had to run upstairs, so it wouldn’t eat me.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Carnivalesque and the Grotesque Body

Are not these rather beautiful words?

When I thought of making CB I pictured it taking part in a carnival procession, part of some raucous tumult of dark and light, shrill clashing trumpets and stiff religious effigies carried shoulder-height in the flickering gloom by a crowd half off its head with drunken glee. The Russian literary critic Mikhail Bahktin picked over the writings of Rabelais to get at the carnival world he depicted.  'The carnivals that exist today pale in comparison to thr bunbridled lusting, crazed bingeing and even physical mutilation that occurred in the carnival environment of days past'.  It was a world of upsidedown chaos, anarchic extremes, where normally strict hierarchical barriers were ridiculed, inverted and ripped.

I would love to think I'd made something as raw as this, that would fit into a proper medieval rip-up but I haven't.  However I think I quantifiably subverted Health and Safety regulations at our last outing.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Other many-breasted persons

The Ephesian Artemis - though the name is a piece of theft from Greece since the figure is more likely earth- goddess Ashtart than the boyish huntress of Greek myth.  I'm not saying there's a link with my robot - I am not!!! but just ask yourself, who got there first?

There's a lovely photo of Louise Bourgeois standing in her street clothes covered in a vest with a tumult of latex bosoms cascading down the front. There's something about the way she wears the thing - casual, comical. She plays it straight.  This one is marble, such a  jumble of paradoxical  form and meaning.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Carapace, the Carnivalesque and London fashion Week

I realise I put a facetious account of my thinking behind this sculpture because I was up to HERE with making it and I now want to say something more accurate.

but not yet....

I'm getting it ready for another outing tomorrow - the fear-inducingly fashionable Hospital Club in Covent Garden, where we will be at the Wolf & Badger Graduate Design Awards as part of London's Fashion Week.

I've just spent 2 hours with wondrous technician MARK WRIGHTON who has sorted out the latest technical screw-up - at some point when CB was wandering around 7 Dials the heavy CD unit thumped onto the delicate servos, wrenching them from their fairy-size holdings. Mark INGENIOUSLY wrests success from disater and gets us on the road again.