Jake Wakefield — Artist

Arrietty

In Brief: Arrietty is an explosion of color, a giant garden of colossal Colorado-inspired wildflowers where visitors will be wowed by amazing aerial dancers, amusing and exciting events, and other strange and entertaining oddities.

Description

Visitors to this colorful garden will feel as though they have walked through a portal to a world where they are no bigger than a mouse in a flowery field of Colorado-inspired plants. Within this popup venue, guests can explore beneath gigantic flowers, picturesque plants, and draping moss.

Arrietty’s immersive environment is a mix of human-height flowers, various types of giant foliage, and hundreds of feet of moss. Each of these base elements is fabricated out of highly weather resistant PVC, felt, and EVA foam. Combined together they create a beautiful tiny world where the miniature scale of flora is scaled up to the macro-scale.

Funding

Materials

  • Flowers — EVA Foam
  • Stems — PVC, Acrylic Paint
  • Vine + Moss — Laser Cut Felt

Concept

The initial concept for Arrietty was inspired by the 1952 children’s fantasy novel “The Borrowers” by Mary Norton and other similar media. The story explores the world from the point of view of tiny, benign borrowers who live within the hidden areas of a home.

Arrietty is named after Arrietty Clock, one of the protagonists of these stories. We are seek to build a portal into a world where people can experience a wildflower field as if they were looking through the eyes of a borrower.

The Stage — Arrietty will feature, at minimum, an 11′ aerial performance rig with a 10’x10′ footprint that will function as a dedicated stage space. Depending on funding there may be additional performance rigs within the space and the layout concept art can stretch to accommodate these rigs while still fitting within the 25’x25′ area. Foliage plus a 2D backdrop painted on 4’x8′ and 2’x4′ boards that are anchored down behind and around the rig to build a visual and inviting centerpoint to the design.

The Portal — Signifies the entryway to the Arrietty space. This is built out of more densely packed giant foliage and will also hide the spotlights for the stage area.

The Perimeter — Entrances to the space is at the front for guests and there is an entry for performers behind the stage. The area between the portal and stage are wrapped with lights, additional foliage, and felt moss.

Fabrication

Fabrication focuses on three main elements; foliage, moss, and backboards. For safety reasons we are acquiring and will be using a pre-fabricated aerial rig. This is to ensure that all performers are using a professionally-rated rig.

Foliage — Foliage will be fabricated using PVC pipe pipe as the rigid stems. The flowers will be constructed out of colored EVA foam, a common crafting material. Flowers will be based on local Colorado wildflowers and foliage; Bluebells, Sedum, Indian Paintbrush, Columbines, Daisies, Grasses, and Sunflowers. Patterns will be cut and shaped into flowers that are highly weather resistant.

Moss — Gaps between flowers and foliage will be filled with colorful moss and lichen textures. These will be crafted with the help of the Fort Collins Creative Hub’s laser cutting machines. Vector-based moss and lichen designs will be cut out from crafting felt; turning a single square foot of felt into between 30–60 feet of moss/lichen texture.

Backboards — In order to present a back to the stage area we are building pop-up backboards. Built from simple OSB, these will be painted with colors that match the foliage, flower, moss, and lichen designs.

Contributors

Jake Wakefield — Project Lead, Art Direction, Fabrication

Casey Summers — LNT Lead, Fabrication

Kim Smith — Fabrication

Adam Johnson — Fabrication

Erin Dean — Performance Lead, Stage Manager, Fabrication

Casey Moore — Safety Lead, Fabrication

Ali Murphy — Fabrication

HELP US MAKE ARRIETTY BLOOM

Want to help bring a local, Colorado-based art project to life, to Apogaea, and beyond? We can use all sorts of help!

I want to help build Arrietty!

We can always use a helping hand on this and other installation projects in the future.

I want to perform at Arrietty

Are you an aerial performer or have a event you need a home for?

I want to support local art.

Don’t live nearby but still want to help bring an exciting project to life?