Jake Wakefield — Artist
Arrietty — by Wakegraphic

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 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

  • $550 — Crowdsource Campaign

Materials

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

Concept

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 — This project features an 11′ aerial performance rig with a 10’x10′ footprint that will function as a dedicated stage space. 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 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.

Foliage — Flowers and petals were cut from EVA foam (craft foam). PVC pipe pipe was used for the rigid stems. Designs were based on local Colorado wildflowers; Bluebells, Sedum, Indian Paintbrush, Columbines, Daisies, Dandelions, and Sunflowers. All materials are highly weather resistant.

Moss — Crafted with the help of the Fort Collins Creative Hub and CaseCrafts. Vector-based moss and lichen designs were cut out from crafting felt; turning a single square foot of felt into between 30–60 feet strings of moss/lichen.

Backboards — Built from simple OSB, these were painted with acrylic to match the foliage, flower, moss, and lichen designs. The Lyric hosted on painting event at their venue, where guests were welcomed in to help paint and interact with the art and performers.

Arrietty Flower Cutting
Arrietty Color Concepts
Jake painting at The Lyric
Arriety Flower Fabrication
Painting event at The Lyric
Arrietty Sunflower

Contributors

Jake Wakefield — Project Lead, Art Direction, Fabrication

Casey Moore — Safety Lead, Fabrication

Ali Murphy — Fabrication

Kim Smith — Fabrication

Erin Dean — Performance Lead, Stage Manager, Fabrication

Casey Summers — LNT Lead, Fabrication

Adam Johnson — Fabrication

Arrietty at Apogaea — Front View
Aerial performance at Arrietty, Apogaea 2022. Featuring Erin Dean
Arrietty at Apogaea 2022
Arrietty at Apogaea — Front View (Side)
Arrietty's placement marker for Apogaea 2022
Arrietty at Apogaea — Front View (Night))
Arrietty at Apogaea — Front View (Dusk)

Installation

Arrietty made it’s first appearance at Apogaea, who was also a major contributor in funding the art project through their CATS art grant.

At Apogaea it was a major installation, attracting people day and night. Each day there were several hours of aerial performances, lessons, and open play on the aerial rig. It provided an exciting, and physically challenging, playful activity for people of all ages. It also ended up being a small social hub, where people could chat during lessons and performances.

Summer in northern Colorado hosted a collaborative event between major bike advocacy groups in Fort Collins. Bike Fort Collins, The Fort Collins’ city-run Bike Share Program, and Bike Mobb teamed up to host their ninth annual Bike Prom. Arrietty was invited to be featured as the event’s main performance stage at The Lyric, an art venue who was also host to build events for Arrietty. Arrietty was the backdrop for several different DJs and musical groups would be performing during the event. More details about the Bike Prom are available in the Coloradoan’s article on the event.

It was also featured as a backdrop for a wedding at The Lyric as well, though we didn’t get pictures of that.

Due to it’s success at Apogaea, Arrietty was later invited to Sunburn. Thanks to crowdsourced funding, this would become possible. At Sunburn, a slightly adapted layout for Arrietty was featured as a major corner-stone art piece. Instead of an aerial stage, the project would be featured as the facade for the major music stage at the event. This iteration also dropped the painted backdrops, in order to allow for better flow in and out of the venue.

Finally, elements of Arrietty were intergrated in the the Terrarium, a hydration venue at 2022’s Burning Man event in Black Rock City, Nevada. Elements were combined with brilliant LED art to build a welcoming space to thirsty travelers during the hottest Burning Man on record. The Terrarium was the main gift of Camp Dustea Pickle, a placed camp, and was open 24/7 for iced tea and water service at 7:45+A, on the mountainside of the road.

Currently, Arrietty is waiting in storage to move into The Lyric for the winter 2022 season. There it will be used as general decor for the venue’s interior and as a backdrop or props for other events.

Installation History

August/September 2022 — Part of “The Terrarium,” Camp Dustea Pickle’s tea and hydration service venue at Burning Man 2022. Camp placed at 7:40+A, mountainside.

July 2022 — Featured as the main stage at Bike Mobb and Bike Fort Collins’ collaborative event Bike Prom.

July 2022 — Placed art at Sunburn, a Burning Man sanctioned regional event near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

June 2022 — Placed and grant-funded art at Apogaea, a Burning Man sanctioned regional event outside of Valdez, Colorado.

May 2022 — Fabrication completed in Fort Collins, CO

Thank you for Helping ARRIETTY BLOOM

Your contribution helped bring a local, Colorado-based art project to life in several states! Thank you volunteers, event coordinators, grant contributors, and a special thanks to those who contributed to our GoFundMe campaign. You all helped bring color and beauty to many events!