AI image showing an explosion of colours jetting out from a heart shape with a pulse line beating through it

Sweet nothings

For someone who couldn’t tell a Marc Jacobs tote bag from an M&S bag for life, I spent an inordinate amount of time watching and rewatching a mesmerising red revolving display for Gucci. (Full video here.)

Image: Vogue Scandanavia

It’s intoxicating to watch and leads me to the thing I’m most excited about right now: the work of Es Devlin.

She’s the artist behind the red cube display and an unfathomably long list of work for the likes of Kanye, Beyonce, U2, and The Weekend…

Music? That’s 100% my jam, and it’s a bit of a theme for this blog post. From light shows and immersive experiences, to brainstorming with a lifelong musician + more than a dollop of Pink Floyd.

Finding validation for your ideas

When you start an arts project that’s an entirely new field for you, challenges crop up, and one of the biggest challenges can loiter around making a place for yourself at the table.

This month, I’m speaking with podcast host Lucy Colgan about The Wilderness of Creativity and one of her questions is about those difficulties. I’ll be honest about the doubts that can creep in when you’re not trained or experienced in your chosen field, but equally, I’ve learnt from experience you have to start somewhere.

Just make a start…

Anywhere…

I might have felt faintly ridiculous at first, mocking up ideas for my immersive exhibition using my daughter’s craft materials and whatever I could find in the toolbox, but it passed.

I felt like an immersive outsider for not wanting to overload my exhibition with tech, but Es Devlin has thoughts, and I’m with her on this: It’s about what you’re trying to do and for who, and why, she says, not the materials or the technology.

“That’s all sort of irrelevant until you know what you wanna say… and why… and who’s it for? And how is it gonna actually be worth saying?”

Es Devlin in conversation with It’s Nice That

It’s inspiring and exciting when you’re venturing into new territory to know someone else has said out loud thoughts that run through your own head. To know it can be done; you can create something from nothing and there are others out there who’ll get it and join you along the way, or take something meaningful away from it.

Allow yourself to try

When tech advisor Simon Austen articulated his understanding of the full concept for my exhibition with alarming clarity, it was another validation for me. Because as much as it’s true every artist’s project is unique to them, I learnt quickly community is important and collaboration is key. Simon helped take this project from second gear to fifth in one tiny little hour, sewing together all the stray ideas I couldn’t find a home for and weaving in the tech he knows will do them justice.

In Abstract: The Art of Design, Es Devlin lets us into a secret. She has “no f***ing idea how it works,” but went ahead anyway and gifted this sensational rain screen to her audience. As it turns out, you don’t need to learn to do every part of something to achieve all you want to do, all you need is to find the right people to help you make it happen.

Dive headlong into creative ventures and you’ll soon see the links darting from your own hopes and dreams to connect with other people’s (and boomerang right back). Your idea might be niche or seem impossible at first, but when you’ve got something to say, it’s unstoppable and satisfying to set those ideas free in any which way you can.

That’s what I love about immersive (another discussion for the Wilderness podcast coming soon).

Immersive for me is everything all at once, bringing together whatever the heck you want.

◦°˚(*❛ ‿ ❛)/˚°◦

Brainstorms: A Great Gig In The Sky

“The Frameless galleries are reimagined in the never-before seen experience, blending music and art with the latest neuroscience and technology, in an exploration of how our minds respond to music.

Showcasing the beautiful and haunting simplicity of Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright’s writing and Clare Torry’s vocal composition, the title track of the experience is the iconic Pink Floyd Track ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’. Visitors will travel through the four main Frameless galleries, each featuring stunning sky-themed creative visualisations of the human brain’s response to music.” ― Frameless

Main image created using Ideogram

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