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Slip and Taffeta

Philip Lee and Cally Trench performed Slip and Taffeta at the opening of Creating A Scene, at Oriel Davies in Newtown, Wales, which had toured from the National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford. Philip removed his suit, and Cally, in the purple evening dress, covered Philip in clay slip and mars violet pigment, in a black-draped theatrical space. They then processed outside the building to the main gallery, where Philip stood beside and walked around his ceramic installation, Slab Torsos V. He left clay footprints and dollops of pigment streaked clay, and marked the ceramic torsos; it was as if one of the ceramic bodies had come to life. Cally Trench's clay-marked taffeta dress offered another unexpected challenge to convention as she walked amongst the spectators, offering them wrapped sweets and souvenir postcards from a very large ceramic platter, and encouraging them to enjoy themselves while Philip shivered and suffered.

Slab Torsos V was an installation of 19 ceramic sculptures. The sculptures are life-sized torsos made by Philip Lee. Each is the result of a body printing onto a sheet of clay. The Slab Torsos were hung on steel cables, attached to steel stands, or laid on the floor interleaved with others. It was possible to walk all the way around the installation.

Creating A Scene at the National Centre for Craft & Design and Oriel Davies:
"Art is often about illusion; taking us on a journey to alternative places and situations, leading us to question what we believe and often triggering emotional reactions that we might otherwise not encounter.

Creating A Scene illustrates this through a focus on set design bringing to light some of the disciplines involved and the collaborative aspects between artistic design processes necessary for success. Bridging theatre, opera, visual art, performance art, dance, architecture and film, it is apparent that the common thread is the set; a vehicle for the final production where there is mutual reliance between it, the performance and the artwork.

The exhibition includes examples of the design process including sketches, working models, finished designs and theatre sets by leading international artists as well as work by emerging new talent. Exhibiting artists include Edward Allington, Franko B, Ivor Beddoes, Giuseppe Belli, Julian Crouch, Richard Deacon, Hein Hecktroth, Christopher Hobbs, Howard Hodgkin, Derek Jarman, Philip Lee, Davy and Kristin McGuire, Bruce McLean, Louise Ann Wilson and Edwin Zwakman. Curated by Naomi Law and Jeremy Webster.

Creating a Scene was a touring exhibition from The National Centre for Craft & Design."
National Centre for Craft and Design

Photos by Frank Corfield and Neil Fowler

For a review of Creating A Scene at Oriel Davies by Cally Trench see Blue Pages - The Society of British Theatre Designers (No. 2 - 2014).

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