So I have spent my time writing a new Mr Watt story and ended up with 50 objects that were required to illustrate it. The story is about Mr Watt’s dream – the loss of his sparkle and the subsequent journey to retrieve it; a journey that takes him through a landscape of lost factories, a metaphor for the loss of handskills and ‘making things’ in modern life. So what to do with all the objects rather than box them and shove them in a corner?
Ideas for a display ‘cabinet’ began to form, the idea being that all of the objects could be displayed in a museum/library/school foyer, on a temporary basis, with a little screen nearby to show a digital version of the story. Children could follow the story whilst trying to find the objects on display. Or something like that. I thought what a good idea it would be to make the cabinet Mr Watt’s head shape. Here’s the original chalk sketch on the workshop floor:
There are factories, shipyards and bottle kilns, cars trains and rockets etc etc as well as references to childhood stories that I remember, with cross references to manufacturing (eg. Noddy’s car is in the car factory, Ratty’s rowing boat has sunk near the shipyards etc). So it’s a bit of a metaphor for lost childhood as well. Here are some pics of the fabrication.
For Mr Watt’s reaction to all this, see his blog:
And so the bits and pieces get bolted in, one at a time: