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Matthew Wadey

I wanted to create the desk of an inventor as they try to discover new ways to generate electricity. The hand-cranked generator that looks as though it should work, along with the other scattered objects, giving the audience a feeling of being in a workshop not an art gallery. Inviting them to forget who they are and to become someone else for a brief moment.

From a young age, I knew I was interested in stagecraft, the behind-the-scenes aspects mostly, as I never had the memory for learning lines and enjoyed creating things that had a purpose. In particular, the things that caught my interest were the “shortcuts” that stage/prop designers took to tell the story. Like sink plungers for a Dalek’s manipulator arm. I suppose that’s where the journey started, watching Doctor Who Confidential as a kid.

The “cleverer” the prop the more it enthrals me; I started my final year at university by exploring “The Mouse Mill” from Bagpuss, a device tricking the audience and Professor Yaffle until it’s revealed to be a trick, an illusion. I believe entertainment to be one of the most important aspects of our life, but the amount of work needed is often taken for granted. Like with ornate gates, the finer details should get lost when looking at the whole but are there to be admired by those willing to look. Getting the balance right is an act; to upstage the focus is messy, and to be left plain is boring. Playing with this line is where I find my fun.

Using forged steel, I can create props that can take some abuse and carry on performing This mock generator should be able to tell the story of a failed inventor for years to come if looked after. But it’s also interactive, to be played with and enjoyed first-hand in person ideally. Art should be fun, art should be ‘shared and enjoyed’ orgo stick your head in a pig’!!!!