Making magic

For tonight’s Late at the Tate Britain, puppeteers and artists will be putting on a whimsical musical journey inspired by the galleries collections, as well as dinosaurs, rainbows, mountains and rivers.

Curated by music and visual art promoter Artic Circle and Chelsea College of Art MA students, the late event will include performances from Paper Cinema (see DW Profile 22 April), singer-songwriter Dom Coyote and folkster Emily Barker.

Damian O'Hara's finished piece
Damian O’Hara’s finished piece

Fitting then, that illustrator Damian O’Hara has created a similarly quirky image to promote the event. The piece was inspired by the event’s name The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me – a lyric from the Kermit the Frog song Rainbow Connection, which is played over the opening titles of the Muppet Movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSFLZ-MzIhM

So once settled on a rainbow design, O’Hara started doing a bit of research into representations of rainbows, looking at foreign film posters for the Wizard of Oz.

O’Hara says, ‘From the start I loved the idea of a rainbow sweeping in through the doors of Tate Britain, bringing with it this evening of events and then exploding out the back so I sent to work sketching how that could look as a paper-cut.’

O'Hara works on the Tate's outer wall
O’Hara works on the Tate’s outer wall

Starting with the roof, O’Hara assembled his rendering of the Tate Britain first in a prototype white version then in coloured card. ‘I worked from a photo of the front of Tate Britain to get the proportion and detailing as correct as possible. The hardest part actually was the rainbow – it looks simple but I had to work through the camera lens to make sure that I achieved the “sweep” that I wanted in the final piece,’ he says.

The Tate Britain's wall was constructed from several layers of carefully cut card
The Tate Britain’s wall was constructed from several layers of carefully cut card

Putting the finishing touches to the piece in the form of a few penguins and clouds, O’Hara then set up the lighting ready to capture the paper sculpture for the final image. Considering O’Hara says he is pretty new to paper cutting, it’s a really impressive piece. Let’s hope the event lives up to its advertising.

O'Hara's Tate without the sweeping rainbow
O’Hara’s Tate without the sweeping rainbow

The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me is at 6 – 10pm at the Tate Britain, Millbank,
London SW1P.

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