Southside Shopping Centre, Wandsworth
29th April - 23rd May
Our aspiration with Market Steps was to make Southside Shopping Centre feel a little more like a village in the countryside and to connect it a little more to nature.
Having enjoyed the level of engagment children gave Giant Steps and having attempted to entertain a young child on tedious shopping expeditions I knew I wanted the place children at the heart of the story and provide them with a distraction whilst their parents shopped. Thinking about children in shopping centres setting made me think of Catherine O'Flynn's novel What Was Lost, which in turn made me think about Erich Kastner's novella Emile and the Detectives.
We decieded to keep the story simple and linear. Southside's vast floor area persuaded us to make the story episodic. The busy visuals of the shop fronts forced us to concentrate on using the floor rather than walls.
In order not to disrupt the business of the centre we planned to install overnight and to speed things along we planned and prepared well ensuring the sticking job was completed in a single night. We were impressed with how positive the shopping centre's management were. Everything when very smoothly.
In addition to decoding the story and performance Market Steps also ran an i-spy challenge.
Devised by Simon Ford and James Yarker
with Denise Stanton and Chris Dugrenier
Design by Simon Ford
Commissioned by the Wandsworth Arts Festival
With thanks to: Neil Churchill, Alex Herbert, Helen Renwick, Graeme Rose