DREAMLANDS CULTURAL PROGRAMME
The revival of Dreamland had two very core ideas at its heart: To look to the heritage of the past and its juxtaposition with a contemporary audience. As a result, the 'culture' of Dreamland had to be upheld, preserved, referenced and played with whilst also funding and commissioning new art installations, rides and entertainment.
Here we give some exposure to the, mostly local, people who were key parts in bringing the old back to life, or the new and exciting to town.
Georgie Berryman trained as a scenic artist at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and has been working in the industry for eight years. Starting out as a scenic artist for theatre, live events and retail displays, she then moved on to painting scenery for theme parks including Disneyland Paris and Legoland.
While working in theatres, Georgie worked on productions such as Sweeney Todd on Shaftesbury Avenue. She began working at Dreamland in 2015 and has been trained in professional sign writing by Joby Carter of Carter’s Steam Fair. Her role at Dreamland involves creating artwork for the vintage rides and around the park, as well as theming for large scale events such as Screamland.
RAG & BONE MAN
THERE IS A LIGHT
Rag & Bone Man, 2017
Cast Iron, Steel, Brass, Scrap
Taking inspiration from the decorative street lamps that once illuminated the heritage amusement park, Margate based The Rag and Bone Man celebrates the history of the Metropolitan Vickers motor that drove the original Scenic Railway and reworks its shape and components into a new Tivoli inspired street light.
The light both illuminates Dreamland's new green spaces and operates as a sign post directing visitors to both key areas of the park and inviting them to destinations that can be reached by travelling with imagination…
Rachel Wilberforce, 2015
Perspex, Coloured Glass Neon, Transparency Prints
While she was carrying out research for the piece, it was the elements of sound, lighting and arcades that kept coming up in locals’ recollections of Dreamland, reaffirming the artist’s idea of using lights in the work itself.
For Wilberforce, the warm glow and luminosity of the salvaged neon tubes represent the analogue of the lighting world, akin to her photographic film work. These fragile, historic lights are interspersed with coloured Perspex segments and transparency prints of everyday places, pointing to the manifestation and representation of Dreamland, the deconstruction and reconstruction of the site, and its enduring legacy as a place of spectacle.
The taut form of the sculpture is set against the colourful, chaotic neons that bounce and burst with reflections and re-reflections. The sculpture also interplays with the fluidity and translucency of the prints and the glow of the neons at various junctures. In so doing, it echoes both contained and disruptive elements in the work. The result is the creation of a complex configuration of space, form and light, revealing myriad real and imaginary spaces with an ethereal quality.
The artist’s intention is that the work should represent a monument to our times, one that equally draws from the past, present and the future. For Wilberforce, the work also celebrates the delights of the British funfair and of seaside towns rediscovering their former glory.
YOU SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND BABY
Studio TAC, 2017
Mirrored stainless steel, paint, wood
No one knows who spun the first top, but every person since has had the simple joy of playing with one. Today, the spinning top is one of the oldest recognisable toys found on archaeological sites all over the world, and irrespective of culture. In Medieval times, it was common to have a large spinning top in the town square which villagers could spin for exercise and to keep warm!
The simplest of games in so many ways, Margate based studioTAC revive the simplicity of play through movement as one of the first things you see in the park. The mirrored surface reflects not only your new surroundings, but your own image, spinning round you as you participate... and you begin to realise you’re not in Kansas anymore.
THE MARVELLOUS MARBLE RUN
Circus Kinetica, 2017
Steel, Aluminium, Timber, Paint, Acrylic
This kinetic rolling ball sculpture is both complex and simple. The hand turned mechanical beginning and the resulting gravity led adventure are the simplest of physics yet the Heath Robinson-esque composition swirls and whirls through the space leading your eye on a playful journey.
Inspired by the scenic railway framed behind the piece, The Marvellous Marble Run delights in the very same principles demanding participation. Circus Kinetica utilise an experimental approach both in their affinity for the unusual and unfolding curiosity. Their body of work appears, at the same time, both current and from a pre-digital, industrial age.