Faust allows kids to play with artist Nick Cave’s imagination

Cultural branding studio Faust has created a tactile immersive experience for kids to accompany an extensive exhibition of work by artist Nick Cave

Cultural branding studio Faust has created a tactile immersive experience for kids to accompany an extensive exhibition of work by artist Nick Cave (no, not that Nick Cave, but rather the American fabric sculptor, dancer and performance artist Cave).

The exhibition, Sojourn, at the Denver Art Museum, promises an immersive journey through the artist’s imagination. The Second Skin installation, designed by Faust in collaboration with Cave, is a family-friendly interactive space that complements the main exhibition, inviting visitors to exercise their own imagination through hands-on activities.

It includes a floor-to-ceiling felt wall and felt silhouette mannequins that kids can embellish and re-embellish with colourful cut-outs, as well as kids punching bags and a super-sized projection of Cave’s film Drive-By.

Much of the design is inspired by Cave’s work. For example, the kaleidoscopic wallpaper is created from a photo of ceramic birds taken in Cave’s studio, with the graphic carpet design also derived from that pattern (see the inspiration art work below).

The punch bags are printed with graphic interpretations of Cave’s Soundsuits, his series of elaborately crafted suits, designed to create noise  when in movement, and which he uses in many of his performances. The 3-D felt mannequins are also inspired by the Soundsuits, interpreted by Faust from photographs of Cave performing in them.

Below is a video from the Denver Art Museum showing Soundsuits in all their glory – the super-slo-mo section is particularly mesmerising.

The studio also designed the exhibition’s title wall, which features the title cut through a 2.5-feet wall covered in the same ceramic bird-inspired wallpaper design of Second Skin, creating telescopic vistas into the first gallery. “It is a micro/macro kind of experience that gets the senses going and ready for a special experience,” explains Faust founder Bob Faust.

The accompanying exhibition catalogue (as well as marketing material) is also designed by Faust and picks up the cut-out letterforms on its cover with a die-cut design. It contains a 40-page journal on the making of the exhibition, set within a cut-out void in the front section of the book (see below for book cover and spreads).

Faust has been working with Cave for more than 15 years, and Bob Faust is also Cave’s studio and special projects director. “So every project is collaborative and pushes the boundaries and expectations,” he says. “We wanted to provide something for everyone, similar to how Nick’s work is, in that you can take it on a purely aesthetic level, be awed by the craft, or go deep into history or political message.

“Nick’s approach to his own work is all based on feelings and not ever from a written or sketched plan. Our hope with these projects was to set the stage for a visitor’s barriers to be brought down and their own imagination to take over.”

Nick Cave: Sojourn is on at the Denver Art Museum until September 22. For a peek at Sojourn, see Cave’s guide below.

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