Pop Up Pop Up – East London Theatrical Immersive Installation & Book Installation by Hilary Powell

Pop Up Pop Up brings a former industrial site in East London to life with a peek behind the scenes of a theatrical pop-up factory producing a limited run of artist Hilary Powell’s pop-up book Legend: An A-Z of the Lea Valley.

During an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts at the Bartlett School of Architecture, artist Hilary Powell has spent the last four years as unofficial artist in residence on a demolition site on the fringes of the Olympic Park. She has produced a unique pop-up book and created an immersive public experience to chart the historic transformation of Stratford and the Lower Lea Valley.

Pop Up, Pop Up takes place from 18 – 20 September 2014, 12 – 8pm, Sugarhouse Studios, Stratford.

Legend: An A-Z of the Lea Valley – a launch celebrating the book’s creation takes place Saturday 20 September 2014 7.30pm.

Visitors are invited to observe a production line of uniformed, local, skilled workers absorbed in their tasks. Immersed in a surreal site of production, visitors witness the intensive manufacture of an epic publication made by many hands.

A workforce of ‘pop-up apprentices’ with a range of backgrounds and skill sets will be trained and work together to glue, bind and finish each copy by hand. From digital printing and laser cutting to foil-blocking, Powell has united traditional and contemporary processes and a team of expert, semi-skilled and novice participants to bring this unique work to life.

Tours of the factory give visitors an insight into traditional pop-up production processes most commonly performed in the far East for commercial publications. A programme of walks and workshops, including hands-on paper engineering, will use Legend: An A-Z of the Lea Valley to drive discussion about the built environment and Olympic legacy in the area.

Hilary Powell says, “Over the last ten years I have witnessed and experienced the rapid changes of the Lower Lea Valley – an area of London I have loved, lived and worked in. A pop-up book seemed the ideal way to imagine urban transformation and create a hub of invention, industry and the collective hand-made in an area formally associated with manufacturing and innovation.”

Legend: An A-Z of the Lea Valley is an imaginative miscellany of fact and fiction inspired by local voices. With images made using reclaimed demolition material and local marsh vegetation each pop-up illustration is a vision of urban change as pylons collapse, tower blocks grow, bombs drop and tracks are laid. This handheld animation of regeneration invites us to remember the past and imagine what the East End of the future might look like.


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