Middlesex University lecturer and designer Wyn Griffiths was commissioned to create a unique up-cycled sculpture of a time-travelling airship and has just seen it unveiled at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
His impressive mechanical installation, titled ‘The Globe of Dislocation’, was revealed in the Meridian Courtyard in front of the famous museum on 10 April and will be on display for nine months until 4 January 2015. Representing the remains of the time-travelling airship ‘The Prime Landing’, which was devised to navigate between alternate universes, the design was created in collaboration with transmedia producer Yomi Ayeni.
Their creation forms part of the ‘Longitude Punk’d’ exhibition which showcases work inspired by the technical inventions that were presented to the Board of Longitude between 1714 and 1828 in their quest to solve the problem of finding longitude at sea. Celebrating inventors, scientists and explorers of the past, the exhibition blurs the boundaries between art, science and fact and fiction.
Wyn and Yomi’s design were selected from entries across the UK for one of the nine commissioned creations. The varied collection on show includes gowns, headdresses and illustrations created by other artists, designers and even novelist and illustrator Robert Rankin.
‘The Globe of Dislocation’ is largely made up of re-purposed and up-cycled materials. This included components from trains, cars, garden machinery, beer pumps, door knobs, as well as a scaffolding pole, toilet ball and jewellery desk.
Senior Lecturer in Product Design Wyn Griffiths said: "It was a huge honour to be asked to create the pieces for such a prestigious institution and location. I imagined the project from a perspective of Enlightenment values - bringing science, technology and art together - distorted through a lens of fantastical 'imaginary engineering', to create an intriguing user experience that would stimulate visitors to explore the real stories of, and approaches to, innovation and the real technologies of the time.”
To create the exhibits Wyn enlisted the technical expertise of Middlesex University staff, students and graduates including Neil Melton and Colin Moss, Ahmed Patel, Harry Bradshaw, Zed Callaghan, Tremayne Gilling, Curtis John, John Regan, Alek Thomas, Victor Toh and Chris Whellams.
“We are lucky to work in the School of Science and Technology which has an enthusiastic and supportive leadership, and fantastic facilities and people such as Neil Melton, Colin Moss, Ahmed Patel and Mehmet Karamanoglu. The project wouldn't have been possible without their design, engineering, problem solving, craft and management skills and experience. Developing, producing and installing the work was a big challenge, but a joyous and exciting process,” added Wyn.
The Globe of Dislocation - Photo credited to the National Maritime Museum, London.