I decided that to make a complete film was ultimately a more rewarding use of my time at the V&A. I canâ??t seem to help my enthusiasm for working with narrative. Storytelling is something I find completely absorbing. The process of developing an idea into a film for me is very much like producing the ideal environment for a chemical reaction in a laboratory. The Ebstorf map, the gloves and the bestiary animals were my chemicals. I was mixing a serious theme with a lighthearted one. I hoped that a story would somehow coalesce from all these elements. I made drawings of every possible association of ideas between the themes that I could think of in my sketchbook and left them to fuse to see if the elements would spark a reaction. Eventually, after filling one and a half sketchbooks a rich theme emerged from all the thoughts which had the right balance of humour and seriousness. I drew a very rough storyboard, and an unexpectedly satisfying and cohesive story emerged which took me by surprise. Essentially, the film is the story of a glovemaker. He travels in his dream to the edge of the world and encounters a series of ‘glovebeasts’. Just as in the Ebstorf map they are a departure from the familiar and they are contemporary versions of the extraordinary creatures imagined in medieval times. They are part beast, part human, part glove. After his nocturnal wanderings the glover wakes up and finds he has brought something real from his imagination back into his everyday existence. In the film I wanted to show the representation of our individual psyches and projected fear of the unknown as an external situation, and mix it with the potential absurdity, theatricality and humour suggested by the gloves. The use of gloves, and therefore the hands are an extension of our own bodies, â?¦.and so our fears of the unknown are only the unknown aspects of ourselves. Like shadows on a wall assuming a fearful shape which on closer inspection can show our fears to be unfounded or even ridiculous. The story is also about the value of creative imagination in everyday life. Most of all this film is a chance to play with scale changes and experiment with puppetry. These bestiary creature images came from The Pierpoint Morgan Library The web links to these amazing sources were introduced to me by Dr.Catherine Yvard who worked with medieval imagery at the British Library. The images were so vital and intriguing that I was virtually immobilised when I saw them. This image from of the snake creature using the gateway as a means of casting its outgrown skin was so directly relevant to my story I was even unable to leave my computer to go to lunch. The story of ‘Glover’ incorporates a conflict between a hero(a glovemaker) and a glove creature. They fight to the death and the skin of the beast is appropriated by the glovemaker. Snake casting skin This next image was again extraordinary. The image of the knight attempting to overcome his sinful nature as represented by a number of devils wearing a variety of woolly suited and winged outfits was so unusual I had to include it here. Seven sins Winged Barbie I will be drawing a range of glove designs for the glovebeasts for the film. I plan to refer to bestiary images, medieval patterns and animal images. I added new wings of chicken feathers to the winged Barbie which was a strange find at a charity shop. The Barbie was really just an aside, and won’t be used directly in the film.
Artists in Residence at the V&A
With an exciting and ever-changing programme of artists and designers, there’s never a dull moment in our residency studios. We will give you an exclusive look into what it’s like to be in residence at the world’s greatest museum of art and design.
We have a thriving and exciting programme of artists in residence here at the Museum, with at least two practitioners inhabiting our studios at any given time.
Here we show the process of being an artist or designer in residence here at the V&A, with behind-the-scenes insights and stories from Residency Co-ordinator, Laura Southall, and the artists themselves.