A pioneering interactive installation and performance at the Whitworth Art Gallery.
A chance to look into an extraordinary room where the furniture has a life of its own, where people bring bits of furniture to life and where you actually become part of the furniture yourself.
Living Room was a unique, interactive installation inspired by the Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection.
A room within a room. To begin with the audience encountered a 3.5m x 3.5m wooden cube. As they wandered around it they noticed head-sized holes on all four sides of the cube. Looking in the holes they discovered that the cube contained a domestic interior. As they looked further they noticed that the room contained within had a life of its own; ornaments twitched furtively, lighting suggested that the room was breathing, and the furniture seemed … restless. When they looked even further, the audience realised that they had literally become part of the furniture themselves.
As well as independently animated objects, Living Room offered a series of buttons and levers on the outside which allowed the audience to bring parts of the room inside to life. Also, from time to time two performers appeared in the space and coaxed other parts of the interior into short moments of puppetry action.
Overall Design and Concept
Sue Auty and Edward Taylor
Room Design and Construction
Sue Auty and Dave Chadwick
Animated Furniture Design and Construction
Bryan Tweddle and John Barker
Music and Sound Design
Paintings and Puppet Construction
Performance and Puppet Construction
Beka Haigh and Rachel Kirby
Oxfam in Glossop, Mandi Midlane, Christian Marsden of Datalex, Jack Lockhart, Mike Green, Rachel Clare, Simon Mellor and Billie Klinger
Commissioned by Manchester International Festival and the Whitworth Art Gallery.