Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How we lose things

I just read The Mark on the Wall, a short story by Virginia Woolf. Here is an extract about Lost Things:

"To show the very little control of our possessions we have - what an accidental affair this living is after all our civilization - let me just count over a few of the things lost in one lifetime, beginning, for that seems always the most mysterious of losses - what cat would gnaw, what rat would nibble - three pale blue canisters of book-binding tools? Then there were the bird cages, the iron hoops, the steel skates, the Queen Anne coal-scuttle, the bagatelle board, the hand organ - all gone, and jewels too. Opals and Emeralds, they lie about the roots of turnips. What scraping paring affair is it to be sure! The wonder is that I;ve any clothes on my back, that I sit surrounded by solid furniture at this moment. Why, if one wants to compare life to anything, one must liken it to being blown through the Tube at fifty miles an hour - landing at the other end without a single hairpin in one's hair! Shot out at the feet of God entirely naked! Tumbling head over heals inn the asphodel meadows like brown paper parcels pitched down a shoot in post office! With one's hair flying back like the tail of a racehorse. Yes, that seems to express the rapidity of life, the perpetual waste and repair; all so casual, all so haphazard..."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Big Brother Bash - Pictures


Until recently, most of our props list have looked something like this:

rubber stamp
Ledger of Lost Things
felt-tip pens

But now we can add 'lectern' to the list. Yes, Ignore the Forecast has its very own lectern. Made for us by the brilliant Cath Bates (one of BAC's Production Managers) for the Big Brother Bash gala night. We now have something suitably grandiose on which to place the Ledger of lost Things. Hurrah! Plus, its made out of old floor boards from BAC's Grand Hall! Over 100 years of tea dances, weddings, funerals, rallies and even a mass food fight have graced across those boards. Maybe they will breathe some inspiration into the labels that people write whilst leaning on the lectern.

Our tech lists looked like this:


We hadn't really strayed into the realms of technological wizardry, perhaps because we hadn't yet found a wizard. Until the other night, when the equally brilliant Jeremy Walker (the other one of BAC's Production Managers) rigged up a pulley system to allow people to tie a label onto a string and then have it winched up - washing line style- to the ceiling of BAC's grand foyer space. In the absence of a tree branches to attach labels to, this piece of techno-magic brought some extra joy to the act of adding a label to the collection (plus its really fun!). Some may think this sounds more cassette tape player than spanking new ipod in the technology scale (on which a stick and a dustbin lid is at the bottom and the Hadron Collider is at the top) but we think simple is beautiful (and we like cassette tapes).

If you want to see these major new characters in The Tree of Lost Things story - you can! The instillation will be staying up until January 17th! Time enough to get along to BAC and add a loss of your own.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tree of Lost Things at BAC (again)

We have just spent a day installing The Tree of Lost Things at BAC; this time in the marvelous foyer space in preparation for the fundraising gala night on the 10th Dec. The labels are now tumbling out of the skylight like a papery growth of ivy, reaching all the way across the marble staircases to the opium den below (pictures to follow if you don't believe us!). Hopefully the instillation should stay up for a while after the big night so pop along and add your losses if you have the opportunity in the next few days.

People have already been reading the labels and contributing to The Tree. It's lovely to see every body's reactions to the piece. It has become a repository for fragments of story; at times, sad, mournful, flippant, funny, ridiculous and occasionally shocking. One thing that comes across more than any other when reading the labels is people's capacity to be hopeful in the face of loss. At Latitude, a woman wrote "I lost my left boob, but gained my life after cancer". People are inherently hopeful and many have used The Tree to express this through their own stories of defiance in the face of adversity. What a brilliant thing to fall out of the skylight!

There are witches in these woods

Allegra and Kirsty are developing a new piece of work. It’s called ‘Witch in the Woods’ (working title). It involves hunting in an area of woodland to find the witches hiding there, before the witches find you. We have created a world in which the game takes place, a world where modern day technology and war tactics meet medieval superstition. The game plays on peoples’ fears – hunting alone in the dark woods – but also their perception of truth and superstition.

Research has mostly involved running around in the woods at night with walkie-talkies and torches. We have taken the concept of wide games beyond 'activity time' at christian camp and team building exercises on corporate residentials.

There will be opportunities to be involved in the development of this piece in the coming month - if you are brave enough...

The Tree of Lost Things at BAC

The Tree of Lost Things was programmed at BAC (Battersea Arts Centre) as part of its season of playful, participatory theatre in November. We brought the labels we collected at Latitude and made a 'tree' in the cafe. We think it looked beautiful! (photos by Jemima Yong)

Tree of Lost Things - Pictures

The Tree of Lost Things at Latitude

In the Summer, we premiered The Tree of Lost Things at Latitude Festival. We asked people to write something they had lost on a luggage label and tie it to the incredible beech tree that we called home for four days. Over the festival, we collected tales of lost love, opportunity, toys, people, weight, car keys, inhibition, virginity, tent pegs, shoes, marbles, wedding rings and pets amongst other things. We were blown away by the positive response we received from festival goers and how generously so people contributed to the piece.