Friday, 8 October 2010

A Monster for London - an update

As you might remember, I posted an invite for A Monster for London way back in April this year. The event was a sound success and lots of other cool projects have happened since, if only I was a bit faster reporting about them...but here is finally an update on the event!

Kenn Munk and I developed and designed A Monster for London- a workshop based on creating monstrous paper-finger-puppets and a battle game somewhere between Rock-Paper-Scissors and Top Trumps.
You can see one of our monsters in action here:

a monster in action

On 30th April, as part of the V&A Friday Late event, Stitched Up, we performed this operation as slightly deranged professors and doctors, together with our estimeed colleagues, Aithche and Masaki, and helped visitors in truely Frankensteinian fashion to 'stitch together' their own scary creations.

This was our monster maker stall just before it got busy...

the workshop set-up

... and here are some of the rubber stamps, Kenn Munk and I have designed and got made especially for the event. On the right is also my professional lab coat with my scientific awards.

some of our monster stamps and my lab coat

The night was incredibly busy, with around 4000 visitors hitting the V&A Museum and our workshop had nearly 250 eager monster makers queueing up to have a go.

the monster queue

Participants really got into creating their own paper-finger-puppet-monster and could choose from a range of 'body part', 'visage' and 'extremities' rubber stamps, patching together their very own menace.
We met some lovely people, who were very happy to get involved in making, playing and some fantastic acting!

some of our monster makers

After having constructed a monster, the monster-makers had the opportunity to pitch their creation against a choice of famous London landmarks, which you can see below.
Kenn and I had brainstormed together as to which London sites to pick and how to represent them a little more playfully. Kenn made them all, but I was proud to have come up with the idea for Battersea power station, which was basically a terrier lying on his back with his legs stretched out... not sure whether people got the idea! Some of the other landmarks were clearly much easier to recognise.

London sites to battle in 'A Monster for London'

In the end, the outcome of the battle decided what kind of 'heart' the monster could earn. So if the monster was scary and powerful enough to defeat the chosen London landmark, than it would deserve to rule London and be 'king', whereas if it lost the fight, it would turn into one of us, a mere daily commuter...

Here is some of the work-in-progress for the design of the rubber stamps from my sketchbook and also some monsters I patched together to try out the rubber stamps, when we got them back from the manufacturer.

work in progress, sketchbook

two monsters

two more monsters

All photographs by Kenn Munk and Annabelle Hartmann.