Friday, 24 August 2012

Wrapped in a rainbow

I remember going to one of these when I was a child - Ashton Court, 1980-something - and I absolutely loved it. It's been popping up every so often in various locations at various points in my life (I have some brilliant pics of me and Ben in one at Hyde Park when we were about 19 or 20), so when it came to the Holburne in Bath and a friend suggested going, we couldn't resist.

The thing itself - a kind of inflatable coloured bouncy castle that you go in rather than on - was originally called Dreamspace, designed by a sculptor called Maurice Agis in 1980. Here's the official interpretation from an archived web page:
Maurice Agis's art spaces are the result of his quest for an spatial language based on human proportion and size.  They inspire a magical fascination in their participants through classic art principals (form, colour and line), and physical phenomena (light, space, sound and movement). They are public, urban, accessible, interactive, temporary, mobile and ephemera.

The one at the Holburne is called Colourscape and seems to be the work of a different artist, Peter Jones, in the early seventies. Whoever was behind the piece, the kids loved it as much as I remember loving it. We all donned capes in bright primaries, took off our shoes and ran from place to place, enjoying the futuristic experience. The different coloured areas had such different effects on our moods and on what we could see - my pink nail varnish changed from neon to pale to almost orange, and the bright red area made us all a little bit angsty. It was fascinating.

There was one area filled with all sorts of strange musical instruments that the kids played with, and it reminded me of the video by Pulp for their song 'Lipgloss', filmed inside one of these rainbow structures. Here it is - nothing like a bit of nineties nostalgia. Have a lovely weekend!

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