Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan have been commissioned by the Mexicano de Diseño Festival and the British Council to create an installation “Ways of Seeing’, 10-metres high and 14-sq.metres, in the Zocalo, the public square at the heart of Mexico City.
“The theme of the festival this year is ‘Solutions’. Design is the cornerstone of a production system. By deciphering a complex equation of needs, design proposes solutions that through a formal and functional synthesis, can integrate something with more value than the simple sum of its parts.
What is the essence of design and designing. It is not the same for everybody. We were thinking about how we approach our work. We concluded that for us it is about seeing and thinking about things in many different ways from every angle, to turn it upside down, back to front, inside out, deconstruct & reconstuct. But this is only possible if you allow your mind to be open up and embrace the unknown.
The phrase ‘ MIRAR’ – Look & See – on the top of the installation is reiterating that it is easy to look at things, we do that every second but how much do we actually see. What percentage penetrates into our minds rather than washes past in a blur. “When I go walking along the canal in London I deliberately take no destraction with me I starting looking at things that I usually rush past and then I start seeing something completely different and the process starts in my mind and I start making connections. But you need to give yourself time and you need to open your mind when you do it is a whole other world that you become part of. Everything starts having a connection and it might not happen immediately but over time those thoughts are embedded in your brain and then they can come out when the time is right and the inspiration hits. Building up pictures with meaning is so important”. Morag Myerscough
So we come onto the reason for building a huge camera obscura installation. From the outside the installation gives away some clues of what it is but they are not obvertly obvious. We have made a raised platform so people can immediately start having different views in a square they may be very familiar with but have not see it from that position or angle before. The swing underneath the platform allow people to spend time looking at the Square whilst taking part in an activity that is not familiar to the Square.
“The camera obscura scene from the 1946 film ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ by Powell and Pressburger had been embedded in my brain since I saw it as a child. When I revisited the film I realise I had no memory of the rest of the film only this single scene which I recall amazed me and ever since then I have been fascinated with the simplicity of the camera obscura, that it was almost like magic.” Morag Myerscough
Then you go through the portal into the structure and you will be in a completely black room which has projected on the wall a 3 dimensional view as a 2 dimensional upside down image. This Way of Seeing has fascinated mankind since the earliest cave paintings and scratches on the ground and is the most basic element of art and design.
The process of converting 3D to 2D not only provides a saveable record of the 3D, originally with drawings and paintings and now photographically but can also be reversed by the artist and designer and communicated using 2D artwork as a way of seeing the future.
This obscura process occurs naturally with out any modern technology, as if the visitor is inside someone elses giant eye. By sharing this unexpected view people may see things they would normally dismiss or ignore for one reason or another.” Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan
Abierto Mexicano de Diseño Festival 21st — 25th October 2015