Sabrina Shirazi is a creative type, dabbling heavily in art and design. Her recent venture has led to the creation of Affix, an interactive gallery at the Bristol Old Vic. Between the 28th-1st November, Affix is an invitation to interact and play with a variety of shapes, pushing the flat surfaces of our bodies into new dimensions. We caught up with Sabrina to find out more about the underbelly of the project and to find out what she loves about Bristol.
Where did the idea come from?
AFFIX grew from my final year degree work was called Haha Produce which was to challenge the ‘Please Do Not Touch’ premise at museums, by allowing visitors to make contact with art on show. My aim was to create set of chairs and fixtures that encouraged interaction, by inviting the act of ‘touch’ as a method of appreciation over the visual aesthetic. For the project HaHa Produce, I took inspiration from the designer Martino Gamper who challenges the functionality of a chair by compromising its ‘sit-ability’. I appreciate the comedic value of whether a seat should or shouldn’t be sat on. For my final year show, the user could customise their own seat by affixing an arrangement of cubes to sit on. The comedic value arrived from the user’s hesitation of whether they should sit on the foam cubes, to realise the cubes return to their original form after being squashed. Therefore as a designer, I enjoy creating products with the intention of promoting humour through active sensory participation. I have since developed the project with costume designer Annelies Henny.
It allows for adults and children to attach shapes together and be creative. I think it is beneficial as a tool for learning, as well as for fun which gives me the motivation to continue developing AFFIX. We chose the name simply because to stick one thing to another sums up the basic intention of the project. AFFIX is short and sweet and amongst the confusion of how to pronounce it, Annelies and I don’t mind being called the AFFIX twins.
What can we expect upon visiting?
Two welcoming hosts, a massive cube, an array of colour and a load of shapes to get your hands on!
What’s the purpose of interactive art?
I think the purpose of good interactive art is to provide a connection to the user and the work by the way it functions. This can be as a way for the user to learn something new or to have a role in a particular outcome.
How does somebody put on an event such as this?
It was thanks to Ausform and Lina B Frank that we have been able to showcase AFFIX at The Bristol Old Vic and The Station. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come and chat to us on our industry day Monday 10th November at The Station from 11am till midday.
Could you tell us a little bit more about Ausform?
Certainly! They’re an independent ideas-lead producing company based in Bristol, promoting and presenting new circus and unusual theatre. Ausform are interested in performance that crosses art forms from theatre and visual art to circus and installation.
When putting on a project like this, what are the obstacles and the joys?
We are forever determined to make the project better and we can only tell how AFFIX works once it’s exposed and put to the test by the public. One such obstacle up until now has been having the space to do so. That is why we are grateful to have had the opportunity of showing AFFIX at The Bristol Old Vic and The Station. The joys come from the public engaging with the work, adults and children playing together and when we see people laughing and having fun.
What other projects are you working on?
I have a visual arts company called Motley Collective and I collaborate with a party of chefs called Da Boes to create a colour infused dining experience called Cuisine+Colour. Our next event is happening on 27th November at Extract Coffee. This is part of the Ausform Microfest and tickets can be purchased here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/878754
Favourite place to drink in Bristol and why?
The Small Bar because they do a good house red. The Summer Breeze isn’t too bad either.
Favourite place to eat in Bristol and why?
Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks for getting your ‘wriggle’ on to check us out. Come by tonight from 6-8pm for an adults session to create your own AFFIX portrait upstairs at The Bristol Old Vic.