I feel fortunate to have been a part of Adam Speaks this year. There is something incredible about embarking on a 5 month project. Our input was minute compared to the work Chris Alton did as the Lead Artist on the project. Chris won a bid to be Croome Court’s Artist on the Adam Speaks Project back in Spring.
He had no idea what it (Art) would be. I love this part of the commission process myself, even when I take a commission with a structured brief, I have no real idea of the end result. It is an exercise in creative trust.
After the Launch of the Tree House on Saturday (25th November), I became curious about the Art side of this project. The work Chris had done. As an artist I know all too well the length and depth of the unseen elements of our work.
In February Chris Alton was named one of the outstanding young artists to look out for in 2017.
In April he shared the news that he had been selected as the Artist on Adam Speaks. He started planning the workshops in May.
His first creative session was at Kimichi School (6th June) where they designed costumes.
June 23rd Chris runs his workshop at St Barnabas School.
July 1st and Chris came to see Room 204 at WWM in Birmingham for our Creative Session.
In July (28th) Rachel Sharpe and Kiki Claxton met with Chris and Hew Locke at Hew’s studio.
In August Chris meets with the Heads of Departments NT at Croome Court to find at how the property functions, what Croome’s priorities are and what goes into the day to day running of the park and court.
Chris researches Robert Adam.
In September Chris is in the Studio working on the project.
He also visits Croome Court and works on site. On the 5th September he is at Croome picking a tree. This thought never even crossed my mind that he had to select where the Tree House was going to be created.
September the 10th Chris visits Birmingham Institute of Theatre Arts (BITA) as they start the new year for the final Creative Sessions.
They discuss what it could be. 10 days later we get the call for writing. Poems that stand as the starting point for the BITA dancework.
By October Chris has started on the production of his Tree House.
In the workshop making the pre-fab modules for with Mewies Design.
Walls are created.
By November more pieces of the Tree House puzzle are created.
Chris now realises why he promised himself he would never create art bigger than he could carry, alternative storage methods for the larger parts.
One of the most spectacular features of the Tree House are the Neoclassical columns, they went into production in November.
Custom CNC’d columns going together in the Mewies Design workshop.
Ply skin was added.
10 hand routed balusters.
Then the logistics of packing up all the pieces and building his Tree House.
Art Jenga. Or more accurately ‘Tree House Tetris’ as Chris states.
Mid November and it arrives on site.
The walls go up (Nov. 15th).
November 16th the build continues.
It is amazing how bigger that tree looks now it is inside the house!
November 21st (just 4 days until the launch) sees the last parts of the artwork being created.
And just in time for the Launch…