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Posted 21.11.18

The coat of many pockets – creating costumes for The Box

By Phillip Buchan
BA (Hons) Costume Production & Associated Crafts students from the college have collaborated on a live brief from learning staff at The Box, working with local theatre company Stiltskin to create a unique outfit that will inspire and engage The Box's audiences.

The Box is a symbol for Plymouth’s current regeneration and a museum for the future, due to open in spring 2020 led by Head of Contemporary Arts, Nigel Hurst, formerly director and CEO of London’s Saatchi Gallery. The eye-catching ‘Collecting Coat’ created by our costume students will be used to showcase the city’s museum and gallery collections with replica and original objects in its many pockets for early learners, families and adults to handle and get up close to.

Charlotte Gunn, The Box’s Learning Development Officer for families, worked on the design and production of the coat with Jacqueline Slade from Stiltskin Theatre Arts and BA (Hons) Costume Production & Associated Crafts students Tabitha Carter, Carol Climo-Crisp, Kay Isaac, Emily Furley, Jesse Welland-Hammond, Charlotte Tarrant and Pip Housam.

L to R - Costume designer Jacqueline Slade, costume student Kay Isaac, student Pip Housam, Charlotte Gunn from The Box, student Tabitha Carter, BA Hons Costume Programme Leader Marie Dunaway, and student Carol Climo-Crisp

The coat is inspired by the Quentin Blake book, ‘Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets’, in which the central character has an overcoat of never-ending pockets filled with surprise objects. It features motifs based on teapots from Plymouth's ceramic collections and sea creatures from the city's natural history collections, as well as a brightly coloured skirt inspired by an item of Chinese costume from the world cultures collections.

Nicola Moyle, Head of Art, Heritage and Film at The Box said: “Collaborating with Plymouth College of Art's students and Stiltskin Theatre Arts has been a really creative and enjoyable process and we’re thrilled with the finished results. The ‘Collecting Coat’ brings our collections alive in a fun and unique way. It will enrich peoples’ experience of learning with us and hopefully encourage them to experiment with performance and storytelling too.”

Photos by Plymouth College of Art graduate Taylor Harford

Marie Dunaway, BA (Hons) Costume Production & Associated Crafts Programme Leader, said: “This is a project that will have a positive impact on local communities and the opportunity for students to hone their skills and practical experience, by working on a live brief with such an experienced costume designer, was invaluable.”