After much reflection on my childhood games indoors and outdoors, I chose from a vast range of imagination led games. I finally settled on the few that I would use for making the props that would help me to recreate those nostalgic moments from my childhood. Many of these games were heavily influenced by TV, books, comics and movies. (The technology at the time)
I chose to make props from the following:
- Star Wars
- Battlestar Galactica
- Treasure Island
- King Arthur and the Knight of the Round Table
I wanted to make them look like they had just come out of a comic book so they are hand drawn loosely and mostly black and white similar to the comics that I had when I was a kid. Not like the high glossy ones that you can get today. There were lots more TV shows, movies etc. that we used to recreate as kids e.g The Famous Five, Ghost Busters, Scooby Doo……etc. In the famous five I was always George because she was a Tom Boy a lot like me and she seemed to have way more fun than Anne. My brothers played the rest of the characters. Sometimes we couldn’t agree and it would end in a fight. But mostly it was great fun and I would go home and dream different scenarios.
Even as I child, strong female characters always appealed to me. If the narrative didn’t have a strong female role then I would take on a male role in these games i.e. being Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, Robin Hood or Egon in the Ghostbusters. Unfortunately there were very few strong female leading characters for me to aspire to when I was young. Wonder Woman was too girly, SuperGirl was dull and gave off an air of fragility even with all her powers. I think Princess Leia was the first that I can remember and even she didn’t get the recognition that she deserved. I usually ended up playing a Jedi Knight….but not Luke…he really irritated me (an emotion unbecoming of a real Jedi however……he he). Cat Woman from the original series Batman was pretty strong and independent even if she was over sexualised. It did made women look like they couldn’t control their emotions however, whereas Batman had the strength to control his lust for Cat Woman’s seduction games. Same game was played by Poison Ivy. Most of my childhood was full of male heroes saving damsels in distress……I used to get so mad about that when I was a kid.
I am considering using a green morph suit as a body green screen for the photos and videos. Maybe overlay my online gaming footage? I am concerned that the forest will interfere with the green screen.
The props are ready to go:
Capturing My Nostalgia Performance:
As the cumulative part of this project I wanted to record myself trying to recapture the vital moments of my childhood play in the outdoors. I am not a performance artist and shun the camera as much as I can so I found this initially really difficult both emotionally and physically. Emotionally because I felt very exposed in the tight appropriated greenscreen suit and I struggled with my shyness when confronted with the lens of a camera. Physically as it was my first day off my crutches and I was very aware of the slight pain and weakness of my left ankle.
I choose a very secluded part of the woodlands area as I didn’t want to be disturbed. I needed plenty of light for the greenscreen suit so I chose areas that were on the edge of the woods rather than under its canopy. I also looked for an area that had enough space for me to play. Initially there were a lot of embarrassed giggles but once I got stuck in I actually really started to enjoy it. The whole experience was made easier by the fact that my best friend recorded and photographed the performance for me. It really felt like I was playing in the woods with my friends (Albeit one friend). I tried to remember the feelings that I had as a child and actions that I might of made in response to memories of nostalgic games we used to play.
At the end both my friend and I felt fantastic. We remarked on how much fun it was and how rejuvenated and relaxed we felt. I don’t think I will go out in a thigh greenscreen suit again but I do feel however that I need to make more opportunities for outdoor play in my life.
I decided to present my work in the form of video. I have two edited in a few different ways. Considering aesthetics, I am not sure which one best captures this performance.
Stills from the Videos:
Remembering Battlestar Galactica: