First place winner ‘Alternative Design’
World Stage Design 2022
Calgary, Canada, 6-16th August
The only Scottish designer out of a hundred of professional international theatre designers
Glimpsing Air Pockets is an immersive, multi-sensory dance theatre production. Based on the saying, “You can’t stop birds from flying over your head, but you can definitely prevent them from building a nest in your hair”, the work captures the contributions of the children and combines them within the set, music and sensory equipment.
The work brings the outdoors and the beauty of nature indoors to the audience, capturing the children’s personal contributions who are in care within the hospital; including the set, musical elements, film and live performance. The vision is that many children will be inspired by their contributions being reflected back to them within the final performance.
Ecoscenography was the focus to bridge stage design with Nature connection to shape sustainable communities and wellbeing. Real plants chosen over fake foliage became fully fledged cast members before being planted in gardens. A previous show’s carpet was retrieved, cut and stitched together in a patchwork of grass, locally sourced found objects became planters, and handmade and reclaimed accessories completing the décor found new homes. Valuing Nature as prime collaborator means working in equal partnership with the materials in an embodied process. The rough vision for the wishing trees created itself as soon as the sculpting started, being guided by the willow materiality rather than forcing shapes to be formed.
Glimpsing Air Pockets premiered at Dance Base during the Edinburgh Fringe 2019
Designer Mona Kastell and designer assistant Hannah Myers wrote a reflection paper after ‘Glimpsing Air Pockets’ premiered that has been published in the peer reviewed journal Scene.
Kastell, M. and Myers, H. (2019), ‘Ecoscenography in action: Bridging stage design with nature connection to shape sustainable communities and wellbeing’, Scene, 7:1+2, pp. 29–44, doi: 10.1386/scene_00004_1
-mentored by Christine Devaney from Curious Seed
Ecoscenographer: Mona Kastell
Sensory pads/projections: DLSV
Music: Greg Sinclair
Video: Tao-Anas Le Thanh
Designer assistant: Hannah Myers
-funded by The Robertson Trust
Bridge built: Big House
Photography: Mona Kastell unless otherwise specifiedFunded by Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity & Creative Scotland Special thanks to Smeaton Nursery GardensPremiered at Dance Base and will be performed at the new children’s hospital, Little France in Autumn 2019 and will then reach out to other children’s hospitals, hospices and venues across Scotland.