Introducing... Davy & Kristin McGuire
This week, we launch our regular ‘Introducing…’ feature, in which we profile some of the many talented individuals and organisations who have decided to make Hamilton House their creative home.
Tucked away in a corner of the bottom floor of Hamilton House, with their dog (called Cat) hiding underneath the table, is Davy and Kristin’s studio, where they design their incomparable brand of theatre pieces, art installations and projections.
The self-described “augmented reality artists” have a background in theatre and dance but are primarily known for “bringing objects to life through projections”, and using holograms in innovative and fantastical ways. Their recent theatre production The Paper Architect, for example, is about “an old model maker who is evicted from his studio, and imagines things happening in his models”.
The couple, whose work has taken them across the globe (having previously been based in Bath and Devon, as well as China, Germany and Canada), first took up residence in Hamilton House five years ago: “We had a big project in London for a theatre show, and we needed to make a lot of models for it, and to do a lot of filming” says Davy, “and we said we just really need the space. And they gave us a little corner”. “They gave us a room next to a dump!” adds Kristin.
Since then, they have seen the studio spaces of Hamilton House grow and evolve, based on a philosophy of “just letting you do what you need to do” without too much bureaucracy. “Nothing feels corporate here” says Davy “It feels friendly and it seems like people care for each other as well.” The close proximity of so many other artists, illustrators and designers means that, as Kristin puts it, they can regularly “draw on the expertise and creativity of everyone in the building”.
Having been residents for the past half decade, Kristin and Davy have been witness to the significant changes that have happened not only in the building, but in the surrounding area as well, describing Hamilton House as “a microcosm of Bristol” in the sense that the building has become pivotal to the city’s artistic community.
Kristin also describes how their own work has developed since they moved into the building: “We’ve really grown a lot — doing lots of commercial work, lots of theatre work, lots of commissions. It’s gone from strength to strength actually. We’re really busy.”
Ironically, despite being Bristol-based, their work has mostly garnered attention elsewhere, perhaps owing to the fact that their work is based on visual imagery rather than language: “I’m really keen on just expressing everything with body language, visuals, motifs, music”, explains Kristin, making their work easily-accessible and universally understood.
What next for the tirelessly creative duo? “We’re working on a project in Sweden, which is an installation of five seminal Swedish plays in pop-up book form so when you turn the pages, the projections come out of the pop-up book. And then we’re working on a project for a theme park in Spain, which is 24 hologram fairies, trapped in jars.”
For more information about Davy & Kristin’s work click here
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