Glastonbury: Land and Legend Research

Glastonbury: Land and Legend is the current exhibition held in the V&A’s performance and theatre galleries. The exhibition is described on entrance as an immersive film installation which is inspired by the sights and sound of the festival, rather than focussing attention directly on the music performances. The exhibition intends to highlight the festival community as a whole and document their experiences to tell the narrative of the event. The main interest for my practice is the constructed pyramid structure which is the centre piece of the display. The structure resembles a tent in shape, with film footage projected onto the side panels. This footage can be viewed both inside and outside of the tent, however the most intimate experience is found when one is surrounded by the film. This reveals the festival’s journey from ‘a landscape to an epic kaleidoscope’ of personal accounts. The exhibition also informs the viewer on the significance of the pyramid and the mystical associations the shape holds. The shape is considered to be powerful as all energy is projected upwards whilst light from the stars and sun are drawn down. Within the context of the exhibition the pyramid stage at Glastonbury was inspired by Abraham Maslow’s hierarchies of of needs. These needs ascend from physiological, safety and security, love and belongingness, esteem and self-actualisation. The suggestion is that within the festival these needs are inverted as creativity is of the highest importance, and basic needs such as sleep are neglected. This transcendence of social norms is what makes the festival goers so unique as a community.

In relation to my own project I felt that the experience of the pyramid has motivated my thoughts towards improving my final outcome significantly. The footage was intriguing in aesthetic and sound, and the structure was open as if to invite viewers into the space. Once inside there was an overwhelming feeling of something which is bigger than one individual, but also a feeling of safety within the boundaries of the tent. The aspect which made the installation successful was that the imagery was powerful and you were taken away from ordinary life. This is an element I am looking to advance within my own work through adding more appliques drawings, decorations and beading work. My tepee must become a thinking and visual space, where the viewer will exist in the middle of a highly embellished interior.

 

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