‘The Snow Queen’ at Coastival 2016

A Glass & Shadow Theatre Light Installation.P1030882

Alan Davis and I had a great response to our pilot light installation of the Snow Queen in the Crypt of St. Martin on the Hill, with a steady flow of visitors throughout the weekend giving very positive feedback. It was particularly rewarding to witness so many adults (besides children) playing with the interactive elements. We are certainly encouraged to develop it further with  additional and more robust pieces to enable it to tour to other venues. I also envisage it spilling out into performance…..A stand alone installation that at certain times becomes ‘animated’ for a small audience travelling through.


P1030880The tale is resonant with imagery of alienation and isolation: shattered glass, distorting mirrors, snow and ice. Alan’s stained, fused & mirrored glass is therefor a fitting medium. We have been experimenting with refracting light through Alan’s stained, painted and fused glass using low tech light sources such as torches, overhead projectors & magic lanterns which can create evocative & magical effects when projected & magnified onto various surfaces/screens. Using simple technology encourages the interaction of audiences.

Gerda’s Quest  to find  her friend Kay in the Arctic is evoked by shining torches through conglomerates of fused reclaimed glass (courtesy of Ailsa Nicholson) onto shadow puppets suspended behind a large screen. (interactive)




Snow Bees

Painted Glass & Mirrors in Light Box

“See there are the white bees swarming,” said Kay’s old grandmother one day when it was snowing. “Have they a queen bee?” asked the little boy, for he knew that the real bees had a queen. “To be sure they have,” said the grandmother. “She is flying there where the swarm is thickest”


‘Clever collaboration. Atmospheric with such rich imagery, especially love the bee prism and rose projection’ Maria & Steve Silman



The Snow Queen Crystalizes

“A few flakes of snow were falling, and one of them, rather larger than the rest, alighted on the edge of one of the flower boxes. This snow-flake grew larger and larger, till at last it became the figure of a woman, dressed in garments of white gauze, which looked like millions of starry snow-flakes linked together.”

A continuous black sheet pin pricked to create snow flakes & the outline of the Snow Queen was fed through an overhead projector overlaid with a sheet of textured glass   This was projected onto layers of thin gauze 2 x 3 metres each (interactive)

‘It is excellent, I really enjoyed it, especially the snow turning into the queen! Brilliant’ Tilly Fisher (aged 8)



Alone in the Snow Queen’s Palace12671837_1666112720322536_84939208537163205_o

Carved wooden marionette

“And away flew the Snow Queen, leaving little Kay quite alone in the great hall which was so many miles in length; so he sat and looked at his pieces of ice, and was thinking so deeply, and sat so still, that any one might have supposed he was frozen.”






‘Beautiful, mesmerising and extremely creative in the use of media and low-tech effects with such an impressive result’ Olga Plocienniczak

‘Such a treat to experience and interact with this story in a magical and beautiful way’ Sarah Priestley

‘Wonderful thought provoking ideas – inspired our children from the start’  Ian & Naomi Brenchley



The Red Rose Blooms Once More

“………..and it was summer,—warm, beautiful summer”

The red rose finally  blooms, iconic symbol of redemptive love. This painted glass image, 5″ square was back projected through a magic lantern onto a circular screen over a metre in diameter. This was revealed behind a closed door suspended at the end of a long tunnel .

‘Enchanting! The interactives are quite mesmeric. I feel calmer now!’ Chris Ellis