City Arts’ Young Producers collaborate with Nottingham Trent Theatre Design Students

Date published: 25 Jul 2016

Posted by: Joe Pick

Close up photo of puppet

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This summer we tasked our Young Producers with responding creatively to Nottingham Trent’s Year 2 Theatre Design Students degrees show work. The results were fantastic. Below, Theatre Design Student and Young Producer Nikki Charlesworth explains the Degree show project, and Young Producers Mary Strickson and Liam Brooks present their brilliant responses…

Nikki Charlesworth

For summer term Year 2 Theatre Design students undertook a project in which we produced four larger-than-life puppets, responding Alben Berg’s opera ‘LuLu’. The process took 4 weeks, two of which we spent working in the City arts Dome in the courtyard of NTU’s Arkwright and Newton building.

The atmosphere in the dome was fantastic: music was playing whilst we all set about our tasks and people passed through to have a look, curious at what we were doing. It had a festival vibe to it!

The puppet I worked on was for the character ‘LuLu’ – designed by coursemate Dani Lemon-Thomas. We faced a lot of hurdles whilst perfecting the weight, mechanics and materials but, when it all came together, the result was stunning; a spectacle in the courtyard, and a great opening to the NTU Degree Show.

Mary Strickson

To create this series of work, I photographed the puppets and models that the Trent students had created for the degree show. Rather than capture them in their entirety I wanted to focus on the processes and labour that had gone into making the puppets; individual brushstrokes, cracked paintwork, materials used, colours utilised. These were all decisions made by the students to help reflect the themes of the opera and realise the puppets. The resulting photographs become abstract, obscured shapes and blurred lines. They disconnect the viewer from the final pieces and become artworks of their own accord, leaving the viewer to link the photographs and the puppets together in their own time.

Liam Brooks

I studied Fine Art at Central College on a Higher Education Course where I focused on Film and Digital Drawings. I live in Clifton and I have a background in Creative Media Production. My intention is to one day make my own film as well become a video editor

The idea behind the images is was to show how people identify with opera and carnivals through the use of the mask. The black and white images are my own interpretation of how opera and carnival would look like together.