As a brief, we got asked to create a sculpture which responds to ‘Jumping on my Shadow’ and expresses our personal responses to the play, its themes and characters. We were given 15 minutes to set up and present in the space, considering the scale and position carefully. We were also asked to bring research and developments, such as sketches, images and a narrative, that helped to inform our ideas.
My initial ideas to the brief were to potentially make a mirror, a wall, some bread or an oven. Although I really liked the mirror idea, I thought it might be difficult to execute so I went with the oven idea so I could show Grandma’s regret and self-blame for her sister’s fate.
I felt like a recurring theme of the play is Grandma’s guilt from her past and how she constantly reflects on a photograph of her and her sister, and remembers the date of her sister’s birthday. At some point in the play she refers to ‘the ovens’, which is ambiguous, but implies she might be referring to The Holocaust.
The oven is an important factor as it is constantly there in the bakery, and so is key to her life right now, but also a haunting reminder of what happened to Anna, her sister. Therefore, I wanted to create a combined piece which showed both kinds of ‘oven’.
I decided to recycle some of my model box from last year, and cut it down to the size that I needed, creating a box-like sculpture. I then added a ‘flap’ which would serve as the oven door when turned upside down, but could also be pushed inwards so you can’t see if when representing the concentration camp. I added paint to create a brick effect, and the doorframe fit to the scale I wanted; really small to make the box seem daunting and unapproachable. After some final paint effects, I added the barbed wire to finish it off and make it as lifelike as possible.
My last idea was to create a bread roll out of tissue paper and plastic bags, and this would remain inside the box whilst I was presenting, but then at the end I could flip it upside down to show the alternative oven, and remove the bread from the flap to give it a sense of reality.
I was pretty happy with what I managed to produce in the time limit and felt like my concept really had responded to the text and expressed my personal response like the brief had asked us to.