"A delicious, sensory overload of future gothic." (Ghost) Neil Cooper
Entering a space inspired by a Japanese teahouse, visitors stood or sat on tatami between two writing rooms and two writers, watching and listening to multiple projections and narratives across many surfaces, including 6 projection 'walls' and two literal and virtual 'windows to the outside' onto Japanese and Yorkshire landscapes. The aural and visual fragments could be linked together in whatever way the visitor desired. The whole set was brooded over by an all-seeing, all-knowing narrator: a giant Mother Spider, her hanging web-hair whipping up the silhouette shadows of the house. See: https://59productions.co.uk/project/arashi-no-ie/
Hearn’s own unfinished kaidan, In a Cup of Tea, inspired us to place, at the centre of this installation, a large (tea) bowl with alchemical properties like the Mirror of Many Souls (Ungaikyo) found at the heart of Shinto shrines. Projections from above into the bowl brewed up the stormy elements of natural and manmade forces. Lafcadio and his alter ego Lockwood, and Emily and her alter egos Cathy and Heathcliff, stirred its depths together like brother and sister (or creation gods, stirring the waters of the deep) to make experimental worlds - and ponder the probable consequences of their Genii-like audacity.
In creating this cross-cultural ghostworld, 59's architectural and video design teams integrated two cultures by exploring their common roots in Shinto, Celtic and all mythologies. This in-depth structure also evokes and invites other cultures to explore the things we share fundamentally: childhood imagination, how to live well with people other than ourselves, and death itself.
It is an inclusive structure which lends itself to hosting many other cross-cultural mythologies and ghost tales from around the world.