Setting up the Nautilus

We’re back on Papa Westray to participate in Ivanov and Chan’s – Papa Gyro Nights – an international contemporary art festival.

Inspired by the island and the people we met during our short residency here in August, we developed the Nautilus, which we are premièring at the festival.  This interactive work will gather the colours of the islanders over the week of the festival to build a shell for our Nautilus – this data is represented like geological strata.

Winter in the Orkneys is a time of short day light hours and cold wet weather. So how lucky were we to leave London shrouded in snow and arrive on Papay in glorious sunshine.

We’re setting up the Nautilus upstairs in the grain loft, the down stairs occupant is an award winning Aberdeen Angus bull. Needless to say, we’re trying not to make too much noise.

Today we’ve been setting up and testing the interaction. The lighting has been tricky as we’re working with whatever’s to hand.

Setting up the lycra screen.

Nicola adjusting the lighting with a broom. Note the Nautilus’s tentacles are misbehaving.

Some Islanders pop in to help us test with their colourful jackets.

Tim changing the lights. The erosion effect can be seen on the sand to the right.

With a bit more programming tonight, we will be ready to present our new creature tomorrow at 2pm.

We shall then be able to start work on its companion piece – the Nautiloid – with the help of the Islanders we will build a three dimensional boat shaped spiral surface in lycra, string and wood. This will act as the screen for slide projectors. The slides will be made from found Island materials.


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