The Drowned Man and the Artist’s Response

Recently, Immersive theatre Maestros Punchdrunk put on a hell of a show in London. They took over an abandoned firehouse in Paddington to build a complex, vast and detailed set to bring Woyzeck, a tale of jealously and betrayal, to life as The Drowned Man.

I went to the show twice and loved it both times – you can read about my adventures here and here. I loved how creative it was – the team behind Punchdrunk built an incredible world, and the detail of this world was immense.

Shortly before the run of The Drowned Man ended, they put out a call for artists to come into the set and spend time responding to it. I submitted a proposal, and was thrilled to be selected as one of the artists to come in and create artworks in response to the set.

Here is what I proposed for my subject of visual research:

I am interested in the idea of exploring personal spaces in the set, and would like to examine the interior of the trailers, the desk tops and drawers, and dressing tables to look at how the items displayed create a personality of a character. This would be an incredible opportunity to study the set in a more in-depth manner and to attempt to capture the atmosphere of, and personalities within, this other-worldly event using just watercolour and ink illustrations.

And here’s how I have responded, thus far. As of now, there’s only one finished work (the painted lantern), and the rest are plans and sketches. The works are done with a variety of pencil, watercolour, ink, and charcoal.


All images © Emily Pulham 2014, unless otherwise stated.


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