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Summer Show 2019: Interview with Ida, BA Set Design for Screen

Twilight setting with silhouette of person standing in the midst of mountains
Twilight setting with silhouette of person standing in the midst of mountains
For we are light and dark
Written by
Tyrone Huggins
Published date
09 August 2019

We caught up with BA Set Design for Screen graduate Ida, who reflects on her final year project at this years Summer Show, and tells us how she used her work to spread awareness of mental health.

Night time setting with person standing looking up at peculiar blue cloud and a face depicting sad emotions
Ida, Night time
, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Ida

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was working in events, doing interior design for venues and wanted to move onto something different. I decided film was the next step so I gave myself some time off to learn what I needed to know before getting out into the industry. I did some research and found UAL offered set design for screen which seemed to match what I wanted to do so I applied.

What was the concept behind your work?

My piece was called For we are light and dark and is about light and dark emotions. In my dissertation I wrote about the importance of colour and sound in film, and how it guides us through a narrative by evoking emotions within us. So the colours I’ve used are projection mapped onto three objects, with a sound piece that takes you through a journey from light emotions portrayed through nature, daytime and the external environment to dark emotions portrayed through night time and our deep inner thoughts. Before this year started, I did not think that my final piece would be what I ended up with so it’s really taken me by surprise but it’s been a fun and exciting journey nevertheless.

Daytime setting with person walking around greenery
Ida, Daytime
, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Ida

What made you want to explore this concept?

We were given three options to choose from for our final project: production design, art direction or spatial design. I chose spatial design because it gave me the opportunity to do projection mapping which I feel is a really valuable sought after skill to have. I also felt that while the other two were more controlled by narrative, spatial design didn’t have much of a structured framework so I saw it as a challenge that would push me to be more original with my ideas - rather than re writing an existing film script.

I wanted to make my project more abstract and personal to me, so I had be forthcoming with how I battled with and overcame depression – as well as the emotions that come with it, which was translated in the narrative. I struggled being this open in the beginning because you feel exposed and naked when the art is so personal, but the purpose of the piece was to encourage others going through the same thing that it’s never too late to see light at the end of the tunnel.

It is very much also spreading awareness of mental health and the notion that if you can accept matter coexists, then light and dark both need to give way for there to be balance in life. Since taking this view of life and extending the message through my work, I’ve found it has helped give people a new, positive perspective on depression which helps them through tough times.

Close up view of box set looking through a telescope
Ida, Through the lens
, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Ida

What was the most enjoyable part about putting your final piece together? 

I really just enjoyed the whole experimental journey of learning new things. I ended up with my design by accident, just out of pure mistakes and trying new things. I think the most important thing about being an artist is to always develop and grow.

Also what’s been amazing is seeing how my work has impacted others going through similar experiences.

How have your interests and practices changed?

My interests are still the same. I guess my practice has changed in the sense that I’ve become a lot more skilled at sketching – so it’s enabled me to push boundaries with my work.

If you could sum up your final year in three words what would it be? 

Challenging, rewarding and encouraging

The years have flown by and it’s felt like a whirlwind of a journey, but I wouldn’t change it for the world – it’s truly helped shape me as a more confident artist.

Want to find out more about our BA Production Arts for Screen course? Visit the course page for more information.