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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.



-Tick tock


-wind in a garden


-whatever you can ear (stream, iceskating…)

-recorded voices:

       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

*follow me*

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

Half opened


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 ?)

Very dark

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,

Circular journey.


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.

Feel rejected.


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

impersonal room..


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.



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