Wick Curiosity Shop

The Collection

The Big Blue Fence







The BIG BLUE FENCE INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION grew out of Immediate Theatre's Big Blue Fence project, which is funded by Sanctuary Housing Association as part of their Heart of Hackney Project. Writer in Residence Penny Cliff works with participants in E9 and Hackney Wick using play-writing,acting, story-telling and audio recording to capture views, opinions, and ideas. The project’s starting point is What if people could lean over the Big Blue Fence, what would the neighbours - the E9 community be saying? What is in the air in Hackney Wick?

It was to bring together those imaginary eavesdropping that the BIG BLUE FENCE INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION was developed. Designed to showcase and celebrate material gathered and created during 2007-8, the installation is a sort of kitchen cabinet/sculpture/showcase/interactive tool. It is a section of the Olympic fence, 4m by 2.5m, with 14 small flush doors set in each side. Behind each door is a box, similar to a theatre-set model-box, containing a display relating to the activity of one of the participating groups. Each box is a treasure trove of posters, images, audio, information, a postbox, sweetie jars and good advice. There are facts, fantasies and musings on themes such as wartime Hackney, street crime, children’s safety, competitive rivalry, treasured friends and families, women’s lives, searching for Dad, going over the big blue fence, favourite things about Hackney. The Installation was shown at Sanctuary’s Festival of Life on Well Street Common (13.9.08) and in the Hackney Wick Festival (26.9.08). Plans include exhibiting it at Hackney Museum and venues in Newham and Waltham Forest, developing new content as it travels.

Big Blue Fence participants at:-
Gainsborough Primary School, Hackney Free and Parochial School, Good Companions on Kingsmead Estate, Tyssen House Residents, Morningside Over-50s Club, Morningside Youth Theatre, Morningside, Gascoyne and Concorde Youth Clubs

Penny Cliff - Writer in Residence, Installation Concept, Audio, Photography, Text

Pip Nash - Design
Will Jackson - Scenic Construction
Jo Carter - Artistic Director, Immediate Theatre
Meghan Zinkewich-Peotti - Sanctuary Housing Association

Resonance FM: a programme about the Big Blue Fence Installation by Nick Hamilton, incorporating Penny Cliff’s audio, broadcast September 19th 2008