Sunday, 18 December 2011
Tonight was a bit special as one of the Beyond team produced an amazing work of artistic genius in hut 424. Kirsty Tyler has an imagination which is only surpassed by her craft skills and she put these both to work using the simplest of materials - cardboard. In her nimble hands this staple of the recycling bin became the most gorgeous animated scene reminiscent of the puppet theatres so prevalent on English beaches in the past.
The theme was the wise men and Kirsty combined this with the myth contained in the song I Saw Three Ships to imagine the wise men arriving at a nativity scene set on Brighton Pier. This in itself would have made for an interesting artwork but this installation went beyond that as the boat and the waves all moved, rocking backwards and forwards as though driven by the wind which mercifully was absent this evening.
The detail in the modelling was unbelievable with each of the wise men carrying individual gifts for the baby Jesus who lay in a straw lined manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. The whole thing had it's own internal lighting and was powered by hidden motors which were engineered and fixed in place by Tony Leaney.
There was almost a disaster when it started to rain just before the official opening at 5.30 - as you can imagine cardboard doesn't respond well to rain - but the team were able to protect everything while the unexpected shower passed over and the rest of the evening stayed dry.
After tonight the scene will make it's way to St. Luke's church, Prestonville where it will be on display Christmas morning during the family service at 10.30am.
The evening included live music, provided by Dave Tyler and friends Jim and Maggs, and everyone got to join in with songsheets being handed out alongside the mulled wine and mince pies.
The next hut is right alongside this at number 425 and will look in more detail at the gifts the wise men brought.
Hut 177 took us back to our Mexican beginnings which was very appropriate for the family who owned the hut as they will be spending Christmas in Mexico.
Their theme for tonight was the donkey and so the centrepiece of the evening was a donkey pinata along with Mexican hammock and decorations including decorated skulls which is part of another Mexican tradition around the same time as our Halloween when they remember their dead loved ones and celebrate with them.
The night was cold but calm and was helped with the addition of a burning brazier which people were able to huddle around along with their mulled wine and mince pies.
The highlight of the evening for the children was the chance to line up and have a go at bashing the pinata to see if they could get some of the sweets packed inside it. By the end of the evening the poor little donkey was looking a bit worse for wear but had served it's purpose well.
Most of the rest of the huts are up by Hove Lagoon and the next one is hut 424 which promises to be an amazing creation from one of the Beyond team.