In a small shed, in a building that divides opinion, but is nonetheless an inspiring example of what the imagination can achieve, we were invited to open our minds to the power of imagination.
For the month of February the iconic Selfridges department store became a portal into the creative mind. The store was hosting a programme of inspiring events, future gazing concepts and innovative products. Guests to the festival were told to open their minds in preparation to explore…
Designed by Artist Beth Derbyshire and built by Urban Designer Matt Foster in collaboration with the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design and CFAR, the Imaginarium, built solely for the event was a unique creative hub set in the heart of the store. Imaginative workshops and inspiring talks by renowned designers, artists and academics were held in an intimate environment sealed away from the outside world. Following a unique programme devised by Beth Derbyshire and produced by Sophia Tarr, each event was organised to inspire visitors and provide them with the tools to unlock their own imaginative powers.
Revolution 18/ Bowie 7.02.14
Led by Vivid projects and Chromatouch
Bowie has been a major figure in the world of popular music for over four decades and is renowned as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He is known for his distinctive voice as well as the intellectual depth and eclecticism of his work, so as I’m sure you can imagine we were pretty excited by the sound of an event being held in our city.
I use the term ‘event’ in the loosest fashion, as we weren’t really sure what to expect but went along anyway, because after all it was Bowie.
After managing a couple of late briefs into studio and a few final tweaks to work that needed completing ahead of the weekend, we headed out into town and took our seats in a dimly lit Imaginarium. Some fine tuning and a slight delay later, the DJ started to play alongside a part documentary multi-screen installation.
The event was an optical feast of fashion, colour and pop culture accompanied by some of Bowie’s most iconic hits played live and loud.
The DJ took us back in time to hits including, Heroes, Station to Station and Let’s Dance. Space Oddity was also played with accompanying footage of the infamous 2012 RedBull Stratos mission.
Needless to say we all had a ball, reminiscing and enjoying the classic tunes, however we were all in agreement that the event should have actually been hosted in a tent with a couple of beers so that we could have danced our socks off…
Power of Imagination 14.02.14
Led by Emes
‘If you can dream it you can do it’ is what Walt Disney said and it’s also a quote that inspires Ian Emes – creator of the film French Windows and collaborator with Pink Floyd.
It’s not often that we in the creative industry are invited to forget pens, papers, and the mac and just dream for a few moments, but that’s what we were here for and that’s what we did.
Staring at a white spot on a dark screen and being invited to just listen to the music and let your mind draw the pictures could seem a little bizarre to some. But it was a Friday afternoon, it was Valentine’s Day, we’d just had a beer and the music was ‘One of These Days’ by Pink Floyd, so whatever…
Interestingly, many people in this little shed all experienced the same imagery in their minds – of movement – different kinds of movement granted…dancers, birds in flight, people running – but the shared sense was certainly one of moving forwards and purpose. Ian then shared with us his story.
He’d been at a party, and heard this record for the first time and it changed his life. He had no reason to, but he just knew that he had to create a piece of work that brought this music to life, it nagged and nagged at him. So enter French Windows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgww1XEH-P8
Ian described to us how for him, inspiration comes from all quarters, but that you have to be open to it. That it doesn’t matter if you’re not a great technical artist – it’s the idea that conquers all.
He also told us that sometimes, his ideas and those of great artists have been before their time and considered ridiculous, but eventually these become the norm. He encouraged us to dream. Not to give up on the ideas that keep nagging at your brain (because those are the good ones) and to chuck out any that you can’t make go anywhere – because these are generally the bad ones.
Although we weren’t told anything we didn’t already know, it was rather heartening to spend time with likeminded people, being reminded that to be given the time to dream, to consider and to evaluate can create some of the greatest ideas of all.
We should do this every day we said.
And after that realisation, we stepped out on to the street and admired the Selfridges building once more before reminding ourselves that we had deadlines to hit…but just enough time to take some shots to feed our Instagram obsessions…