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2015 » United Kingdom » Section of Countries and Regions

Curator:Kate Burnett
Designer / Architect of exhibition:Patricia Grasham
Institution:Society of British Theatre Designers

Make/Believe - UK Design for Performance 2011-15

Welcome to Make / Believe at the Prague Quadrennial 2015. The 22 designers here representing the UK have been selected from our national exhibition of over 150 designers in January 2015. Our exhibition and catalogue title Make / Believe indicates the skills, vision and commitment found in the diversity of today’s UK performance design and as exemplified here within the temporal contexts of music, weather and politics.

All of these production designs explore and occupy a passage of time, – story time, time lived, time lost and the ‘necessary’ time – to make, achieve, overcome and resolve. They variously consider the relationship between audience and performer, between performance and society and grapple with the UK’s identity, our history, politics and our future, including how we relate to the rest of the world.

They encompass designs for found space, digital, landscape, heritage, media and a range of community contexts. A variety of performance spaces, from opera house to cardboard box, from pebbled beach to helicopters, in rain, waves, car headlights and LED projection, enable the re-envisioning of buildings, gardens, characters and their narratives.

All of the work shown here was created as a part of the process of designing and making sets, costumes, lighting, sound and other aspects of performance production. What started as ideas, responses, conversations,

sketches in 2D and 3D, developed through craft and technical skills, collaboration with other artists and makers. Many of these designers were also the makers, painters, finishers, producers, performers even, of their realised designs.

For Make / Believe they have re-visited their work, in many instances re-conceiving it for a new form of performance – one in which the design is displayed in its own right, not in the measured timeframe of live performance, but in both the contemplative space of the print catalogue and the projected, immersive experience of our gallery installation. We have brought no models, artefacts or costumes. Instead, with this entirely virtual presentation we celebrate the temporal, transient aspects of scenography as they transform, decorate and comment on their palace environment.

We ask that PQ visitors spend some time with us in the illusory worlds of these visual narratives, and hope that this joyful and inspirational collection of work will provide pleasure, fantasy and contemplation, while also provoking ideas for new performance materials, technologies and contexts.

Our PQ installation is a collaboration between the selected designers, exhibition designer Patricia Grasham, students of the Backstage Academy, Wakefield, d3 Technologies, Fix8 Group and Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL. The SBTD Selection Panel for PQ2015 from the UK Open National Exhibition comprised designers: Vicki Mortimer, Kathy Sandys and Sophie Jump, Curator Kate Burnett, exhibition designer/co-ordinator Trish Grasham, chaired by Sean Crowley, in consultation with Kate Bailey V&A Curator and with the input of emerging designers Brad Caleb Lee, Hannah Boothman and Jesca Warren (Make/Believe exhibition and catalogue team).

Exhibiting artists / ateliers

[show all | hide all]
  • Lucia Conejero Rodilla
  • Tanja  Beer
  • Frank  Conway
  • Bob  Crowley
  • Simon Daw
  • Becky Minto
  • Myriddin Wannell
  • Paul Brown
  • Chris Gylee
  • Cécile Trémolières
  • Ashley Shairp
  • Samal Blak
  • Janet Vaughan
  • Neil Murray
  • Kate Lane
  • Conor Murphy
  • 針生 康 (Shizuka Hariu)
  • Matt Deely
  • Kimie Nakano
  • Es Devlin
  • Leslie Travers
  • Abigail Hammond
  • Association of Sound Designers
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