Interactive installation for THE TANKS at the TATE MODERN
Inspired by Tom's midnight garden.
Tom’s Midnight Garden is about a little boy who discovers a magical gaden at night, from another era, xhere he seems to be a ghost for everyone but a little girl, Hatty. I chose to focus my piece on this meeting itself and the emotions resulting from that rather than trying to portray the whole story.
Creation of a garden fully including the identity of the venue ( concrete, pillars, etc.).
-H- as in Hatty, Hour... Hurry...
A full sensory experience on Tom's tracks : smells, sounds, sets, imagintion, feelings...
Experience of the time.
All along the play, tick tock tick tock tick tock.......
The audience experiences Tom's sensory and emotionnal journey in the garden.
They are bare foot, just like Tom, and just like him they can feel the differents floors : elements of floor are melting in the (false) concrete floor. (grass, sand, gravels, wooden floor, carpet) The even have to cross the stream.
It is all about reliving his experience from his physicals sensations (touching the floor, trying to play with the goldfishes but passing through them...) to his feelings with Hatty.
Little by little, the audience will feel they're left by Hatty, and so experience the feeling tom could have had. And at the end, for the reunion, hopefully the audience will feel some joy !
Each of them will then be able to create his own privileged moment in this garden, with this little girl.
When they go out, no tic tac anymore. it feels empty.
-wind in a garden
-whatever you can ear (stream, iceskating…)
H : Princesse Hatty if you please, I am a princess
T : What is time like uncle Alan ?
H : I'm glad you came Tom
T&H : I need you to make a promess - what is it ? - I need you to promess first
Peter: That's not Hatty, that's a grownup woman !
Tanks hall just the clock
Starts to strike-deep sound-light turns blue
13th : clock doors opens
see a garden trough it
Sizzeling projection on the right of the clock « hurry whispers the house »
Door slambing behind the audience
Sound of heels on the floor…
A maid (wearing an apron) appears and go through the audience to the clock
Not a look, as if she was alone.
She carries a box of matches and sticks
She turns back and makes a sign to the audience in silence
she passes through the clock.
Audience passes the clock one by one and arrive in the garden.
Big screen creating a curved wall on their right with a back-projection of a garden (video)
They’re walking on gravels
On their left some leaves or wine, naturals elements growing on the wall an floor.
At the ent, an arch made with two pillars. « entrance »
Meeting with Hatty after the arch
A big piece of fabric (very light one/ voile) sliced
Projection of hatty (video , portrait) on it
Audience has to go throught it.
« Princess Hatty if you please, I am a princess »
Now they can see the proper « garden »
Free route inside the tank.
There is a lot of differents things to explore
Everything is on a loop.
The light is only given by the differents projections. (+sky)
It is bright, but not artificial.
You can smell the smells of a garden, of soil, of flowers…
The ceiling is covered by hangings light fabric,
Interne projection of a blue sky and clouds
A real stream is running through the thank from left to right
Not really deep, to be crossed.
You hear birds, the stream, wind in trees, in brief sounds of a garden…
The floor is full of differents textures : flowers, grass, soil, gravels, sand, leaves… melted to the concrete floor
Differents spots :
Tree house on top of a big and round concrete pillar in the middle of the room Surrounded by greenery
Green house with opaque windows (like the ones in the shops in work, with paint)
You can tell there is thing inside but you can’t really see it.
Fish bowl (big one)
With projection of gold fishes inside, on the water. (milky water)
People are invited to play with the projection, (like Tom when he couldn’t touch
the fishes but through Hatty’s hands by putting his on hers.)
Letter to the king of fairies on the floor
Foot prints in the concrete
Projection of a garden (slide of the same one than in the beggining part)
Transforming into real à the grass comes from the sreen to the foor
Like a little mound
Hatty is sitting on it, making arrows with a bow on her knees
She is talking to someone we can’t see.
Meanwhile some ACTION is taking place
A young hatty is running around playing hide and seek with the audience
She skicks her tongue out to every one she meets.
At one point she stops and goes in the treehouse to play.
After a while (to let the audience hanging around the tank) suddenly a storm starts
The sky projection changes, stormy sky. (Impressionistic ?)
A lightning strikes a pillar and break it in two parts, one falls.
Hear a scream
Lights on again, hatty has fallen out of the tree house.
A man comes out of nowhere, picks up Hatty and carries her trought the house door
Leaves the door open after him.
Audience can go in the other room
The space feels much emptier.
You just hear the soud of iceskating.
In the middle of the tank, a frozen lac
Lightning from the different projection
And from tha lac (white light, soft)
The audience will have to go around the space bypassing the lac,
The stream is still here, coming « trough » the wall going in the lac
Freezing while coming toward the lac
Five Ice skatters are on the ice
They’re having a good time and you are not part of it.
On the left side of the door, a bedroom
Hatty is in the bed looking at the audience
« I’m glad you’re here Tom »
The wooden floor and walpaper « melt » here again into the concrete
A little oil lampe is lightened on the bedside table .
There is empty frames hanging from the ceiling
Only one has something inside jammed in the corner
Photograph of a couple : Hatty’s dead parents.
The last frame is a mirror.
But the audience can’t see themselves in it
It is a screen with a recording of the room without them.
They don’t exist in there.
A bit after, the wooden floor appears again
There is a projection on the wall of Hatty hiding someting in a little trap in the floor
She is back turned to us
In front of the projection is the actual hidden place
Inside is a package with iceskates inside and a note.
I need you to make a promess (…) *
A very light fabic screen is hanging from the ceiling
Projection on it (barely visible) :
Hatty, going away from you very slowly.
On the opposit wall
A sizzling projection (same as in the opening)
Time no longer.
Last image is a holographic projection of Hatty dancing
All the way down to an old woman, sitting on a chair by the exit door.
She sits then stands up again and goes back, it is a loop.
When the projection reaches the old lady,
The little girl sits on her knees and fades with her.
Hatty and Mrs Bartholomey. Hatty is Mrs B.
Audienc go through the exit door
Back to the hall.
In the middle of it stands now a pillar
Engraved with a cat wearing a hat
(Tom and Hatty)
No tick tock anymore.