My design for the Bristol Old Vic went through several changes before it got to the final design you can now see in the theatre. Above is the initial design, inspired by Peter Blake’s cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which I submitted and that got chosen by the panel.
This is my second main design. After lots of research to find enough appropriate images, I then spent a long time arranging the figures so that I felt they all told a story in relation to each other, as well as creating a visually pleasing along the walls.
It was then decided to extend the design to have it on the three walls, rather than just two, and to incorporate the red that had been used in other areas of the foyer. This gave me an opportunity to include more of the text based posters. Below is the final design, but as the figures and speech were collaged onto the walls, it meant I still had some leeway to play with final placements as I installed the work.
I am extremely happy with my final three walls. I like the way you catch glimpses of the design from the foyer and café, and how it changes with the different light of the day. I am especially pleased with my chatty, misbehaving audience up in the gallery. It has been lovely to watch people exploring the piece, and laughing as they spot details in the playbills, or read one of the quotes.
A lovely article about the Old Vic from Bristol 24/7
Bringing Bristol Old Vic’s 252-year-old history to life
By Martin Booth, Thursday Nov 8, 2018
“This is my favourite space in the entire theatre,” says Bristol Old Vic artistic director Tom Morris, stooping underneath oak beams and brandishing what looks like a wooden cannon ball. “You really feel the history of the place up here.”
Morris is standing next to the thunder run high in the roof space, part of the fabric of the original theatre from 1766 which can now be seen by the public for the very first time as part of a Heritage Lottery-funded project that hopes to uncover 252 years of secrets.
The noise of the balls sent down what is in essence a giant marble run within what was once the theatre’s scenic workshop acts like a subwoofer, reverberating through the building’s ancient timber.
Bringing things right up to date, it’s fascinating to see original architectural features up here which fed into the designs for the theatre’s recently opened new foyer.
… and modern
From the newest part of the theatre to the oldest, the new heritage experience has been put together by a wide variety of people from archivists to app developers, artists to animators.
Over three levels, Bristol artist Emily Ketteringham has illustrated characters, playbills and posters. Next to the theatre’s pit, a touch screen enables visitors to access a digital archive of past productions and show materials.
Along an interactive corridor, hands-on exhibits take in sound design from the digital era way back to the thunder run.
Playing with sound in the interactive corridor
An augmented reality app from Limbic Cinema and Zubr draws you in via three magic portals, through which you are taken back in time to the familiar 1970s foyer right back to the courtyard from the 1770s when the theatre was accessed via a house on King Street.
And using the theatre’s newly unveiled wall as their canvas, a team from Aardman have created an animation about the architectural transformations of the building using projection mapping, which will welcome guests into the auditorium before each evening’s show.
Morris says that the theatre has survived through a mixture of luck, economic accident, “and an extraordinary and passionate love affair with the people of Bristol, who have defended it and renewed it time and time again during its unmatched 252-year-old lifespan”.
He adds: “We are humbled and inspired by the quality and range of artists who have worked with us on this project, which will allow us to share the theatre’s unique history with new generations of visitors.”
I spent yesterday exploring the new heritage project @BristolOldVic Let's just say the city is in for a treat. The virtual reality app is astonishing and for theatre geeks like myself the bills and posters will immerse you for days.https://t.co/GOr5sb2FC1
Turns out 130cm wide pieces of wall paper are really heavy and hard to manoeuvre! Thank heavens for Printer Pete and his wonderful wall papering skills.
After all red, adding the figures was a joy! I have been looking at them in small scale on a computer screen for so long that it was just lovely to see them printed large. It felt like saying ‘hello’ to old friends as I was cutting them all out. I am so happy that they all worked together as I had hoped – the different visual languages bounce off each other beautifully, I am a happy bunny.
The Old Vic have just sent me this – it shows me installing part of ‘An Audience With The Past’ on the Gallery level of the theatre. If you are quick, you can just see Pete and Ellie who helped me put it up. It actually took eight days to put up all three levels.
My Capability Brown cow went to Blenheim Palace for a 3 day visit!
I was so excited to have my work in such an incredible place that I even survived a photo shoot!
Thank you so much to Ecclesiastical Insurance and Robins Row for sponsoring my cow, and to Thousand Word media for making the photo shoot relatively painless.
She is now on her way to Claremont Landscape Garden for a bit of summer grazing.
An article about my work in the online version of The Bristol Magazine:
A Platform for Local Art There is never a dull moment at Bristol Temple Meads. A vibrant hub of activity for commuters heading to and from the city to begin their working day, excited adventurers heaving their backpacks on their shoulders and bidding farewell to Bristol, and don’t even get me started on the colourful array of artwork lining the platforms.
Local artist Emily Ketteringham is a screen printing artist and printmaker with a passion for Bristol’s quirks and colourful contours.