I was commissioned by the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle to produce a life size automata is suspended from the roof of their entrance atrium. The automata acts as signpost, directing visitors to the various galleries, shop, and possibily the toilets.
My first concept was ‘The Flying Museum Guide’. Although the museum liked the idea, they asked if the figure could have more of a connection with the history of Carlisle. So I changed the museum guide to a Border reiver.
The Border reivers origins were rooted in the state of constant rivalry,bursts of open warfare, and political tension which existed between the crowns of England and Scotland (Carlisle is on the border of England and Scotland) until the end of the 16th century. The Border reivers evolved into guerilla soldiers, skilled in the art of raiding, tracking and ambush. They were prepaired to murder remorselessly and run large scale protection rackets, giving the word blackmail to the English language.
My Border reiver is riding a bicycle,a reference to the original design, cunningly disguised as a horse, and displays moving copies of the exhibits that can be discovered in the museum. Each group of fake exhibits is accompanied by a sign, pointing in the direction of the galley where the real exhibits can be found.
I worked with my good friend Sam Lanyon on this project. http://www.conceptshed.com/.