Tonight we heard artist, Di Mainstone tell us about her journey from fashion designer to interactive wearable designer making musical clothes, films and live performances.
She begun with a whistle-stop tour through many of her earlier inter-disciplinary projects – Skorpion Tales, Sharewear, Whimsichord, Serendiptichord and Shuttleflock, building up to her most ambitious project – The Human Harp Project – making bridges sing. This is an ongoing public art project made in partnership with Queen Mary University of London. Many people talk about cross disciplinary research projects, but Di showed us how it is really done and how many people from diverse backgrounds she gets involved in her work. She works with civil engineers, sound engineers, electronic musicians, dancers, film makers, product designers to name just a very few. She uses a brige as a physical space, but also as a metaphor for bridging disciplines.
For “The Human Harp” Di has been developing instruments and clothing that clip to suspension bridges and allow us to listen to and play a bridge’s natural sound. She is as interested in the design process as the final performance which means that the project keeps on developing. Some of the more famous structures she has ‘played’ are The Brooklyn Suspension Bridge and The Clifton Suspension Bridge but she wants to branch out into gasometers, grain silos and other large metal structures that resonate.
Next year Di is going to return to Brighton with her TraveLab to run a workshop with students from many disciplines to help develop the next phase of The Human Harp.