To celebrate the welcome to the academic activities, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape organizes the Charrette, which consists of a week where all the students of the School, both undergraduate and postgraduate, organize themselves in groups to elaborate all kinds of samples artistic and conceptual.
This year, the theme of the Charrette was: “Flex, Flux and Fluff”, also dividing into other subtopics. The theme chosen for my group was “The Loop”, with the aim of creating a seamless connection between several recognized places in Newcastle by means of different real or fantastic stories that occurred in those sites. Together with my work team, we decided to develop the story in Dog Leap Stairs, a narrow and gloomy place located at the end of Dean Street and near the Castle of the city.
The story has as protagonists an evil man who mistreats the animals that prowl the place and a Rabbit that guards the stairs and watches over the protection of nature. Although it is a fantasy story, the second main character is inspired by the “Vampire Rabbit”, a gargoyle located on the facade of a building behind the St. Nicholas Cathedral. There are several theories about the meaning of this grotesque figure: One of them tells that it refers to a macabre beast with fangs that terrified the robbers of tombs on the nights of the beginning of the last century. Another less terrifying one mentions that the rabbit is actually a hare, and that it does just about the name of Sir George Hare Phipson, a friend of the architect of the cathedral.
To narrate this story, we decided to use the technique of filming known as “Stop-Motion”, for which we made models in plasticine of each character in addition to the setting of the stage. Through special software, we join the frames to create the illusion of real movement. In general, it was a very entertaining activity that also allowed us to learn more about the history of several daily places in the city.
Credits: Elliot Hawrot