Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The British Library

On Wednesday last week Elliot and I went to The British Library for a session with various people involved in the organisation of the competition. It was a great day and it really helped our understanding of what was wanted from the British Library and GameCity. Various organisational points were addressed and some more technical competition based questions were answered. Tim Pye gave a really interesting overview of the kinds of things the Gothic exhibition will include, the exhibition sounds really interesting and very ambitions.

The exhibition is going to display “Gothic” from 1764 right through to 2014 which in itself is a huge ask but Tim reeled off his plans for the different sections and times and it sounds like its going to be really well put together and a full but succinct history of the genre. The 250th anniversary of “Castle of Oranto”, often considered the first Gothic novel, just happened to be this year. I have to admit 1764 was half a century before I expected the gothic genre to start.

One of the major points of the day was that the exhibition and the competition are separate entities that have a link. Rather than the prize for first place definately going into the exhibition, the way that I understood it was that the entry that best fitted the exhibition had a chance of going into the exhibition. This means that an entry could win and not go into the exhibition, an entry could not do well in the competition but go into the exhibition or there may not be the ability for any entry to go into the exhibition. Alongside this the other important thing which we were reminded of is that it is really important that the sound is completely royalty free. We have been provided a pack of sounds which includes some music and sound effects. There is a huge bank of sounds, which I personally had no idea about, at the British Library and you can hear clips at however we will need to check that the sounds are royalty free before them.
The oldest recorded map of Whitby.
The key words were reiterated and it became abundantly clear that it achieving this mood and feeling was really important. The words being: Terror and Wonder. Other important aspects were looking at the sublime which is what many artists, poets and writers were somewhat obsessed with around this time. The sublime being an incredibly interesting and somewhat difficult to explain concept of the unknowable and the beautiful or of greatness, artistically, spiritually, aesthetically… It is essentially what traditional artists have strived for for hundreds of years. Something that was brought up and I feel we need more focus on is one of Whitby’s key elements and that is the appearance of the graveyard on the cliff. The stereotypical graveyard in a foreboding and oppressing location. All in all the visit was very helpful and it was a great day. I returned with many photos and got to see the sights...

Its impossible to pass up a good texture.

Personally I was very glad to see a Bauhaus album cover in the modern Gothic section.


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