DEVICES OF WONDER
The contextual work of my thesis at CSSD revolved around experiments that merged historical devices of wonder with modern technology to conjure the spirit found in Walter Sickert’snostalgic Music Hall paintings.
Sickert first began his investigation intothe complex relationships between artist, audience and space in the early Bedford Music Hall paintings. The ontological and temporal structure of theatrical space provided additional layers to a place already full of nostalgia and fascination. Though mirrors had been present in paintingas a tool to illustrate a reflected image, Sickert was the first to compose the majority of the painting with the subject matter presented in a reflection. Sickert devised tools to shape the spectator experience in the Music Hall paintings,which would become the source for imagery used for the practical excercises taken inthe contextual portion of the investigation into wonder.
The fundamental concept in the exploration of producing the awe of the brilliant sights and sounds of the historic music hall seemed to be linked in the ability to reinvent these processes through merging the use historical devices of wonder with modern technology.