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As Above So Below

From Ivor Gott


“Hey Ivor, it’d be pretty neat if you could write a blog to tell us about your project for nithraid” announced Katie Anderson excitedly at the last Young Stove meeting. The first thing that went through my mind upon hearing these words was “CRIKEY!! How on earth am I ever going to explain this to the general public?” . . . After much careful consideration, i have come to the conclusion that the best approach would be to just tell the truth.

So here goes. . .

It all started with a pirate ship, a great big pirate ship. A great big pirate ship made out of recycled plastic bottles. . .  So how did i get from a pirate ship to two pyramids or should i say tetrahedrons, a chrome unicorn and an art performance based loosely around the concept of enlightenment. The truth of the matter is I didnt get there on my own. The pirate ship was a snap decision made during a meeting with my stove mentor Denise Zygadlo.  i was feeling under immense pressure to make some sort of decision on the project, at this point it had been two weeks since the commission had started, and my initial idea, although perfect for the dock park site (where nithraid was originally intended to be) was just not going to work on mill green. . . “come on Ivor” My inner voice urged. . . “what are you going to do? It must be good, no better than good, It must be fabulous!” . . . so before i had even properly thought about it i found myself telling denise that i might make a pirate ship out of plastic bottles.

This idea then grew from a pirate ship into a viking long boat, inspired by a workshop held at stove that evening. However this was not to remain the case for very long. After a few meetings with my fellow creatives the Mad Jackals (Majikals) the idea of making a viking long boat was starting to seem pretty tiresome. I just couldnt get excited about it. It wasn’t a reflection of me nor was it a reflection of my wonderfully creative friends. . . Then it just came to me i said. “We need to make a pyramid and float it down the nith!!” . . . “We have to have a unicorn inside the pyramid!!” . . . the words of a mad person? Yes, probably.

At this point there was myself, sophie and michael at the studio. You could feel the collective excitement crackling between our minds. I started scribbling ideas down.  it MUST and I repeat MUST include the mer-ka-ba, rainbow smoke, flash grenades, horned elementals . . . i was really getting away with myself, credit to Sophie and Michael they were running with me, we were organic and free, if not a little overly optimistic.

The next day I met with my little brother. We were sat in the queensberry, and i was expressing anxiety over the size of the project as it stood. Conor very often being the voice of reason, is somebody who i consult when mashing around creative ideas. He is himself a creative, but where I go off on tangents and allow my concepts to grow bigger than my mind can handle, he has a real skill for reducing it down and keeping it real. i can always trust him to tell me the truth, and to be realistic. . . “one question?” he pondered with his eyebrow raised ” How are you going to do this in 2 weeks?” . . .

I knew he was right. The idea had to change again, and it had to change fast. More of the jackals were arriving at this point. ideas were being thrown around, the ideas were coming thick and fast –

“time capsule” . . . ” Did you say time capsule. . .

Thats perfect. the mer-ka-ba. . . As above so below. . . We’ll make a time capsule and we’ll make it in the shape of an inverse tetrahedron. . . of course we’re going to need a non-inverted tetrahedron too. . . ahhhh its perfect. . . there will be two tetrahedrons. . . the unicorn thats staying, the rainbow smoke has to stay too. “

In order to maintain some mystery about the performance and workshop I’m going to stop there, but in a nutshell thats how an idea that first birthed itself into consciousness as a plastic bottle pirate ship evolved into an exciting interactive art performance based loosely around the theme of enlightenment. We look forward to seeing you all on sunday, when all will be revealed. . . One thing i’d like to say before I get back to putting the finishing  touches on everything is that this commission although applied for as a solo project has been a collaborative effort, I often find collaboration so much more exciting than working alone, and have the most fabulous team of creative individuals in my life. We are the Mad Jackals because, they think we’re mad, but we know that we are majickal.

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