Over the past couple of weeks our props department have been lending their hand to a little gardening….
For our spring opera, ‘The Rape of Lucretia,’ the design partly consists of a cemetery amongst a meadow of wild flowers which our props department, led by our third year student Jonathan Gilmer, have had the challenge of creating.
The meadow was made up in sections each piece consisting of a plywood base covered in a layer of artificial grass.
Sourcing the plants…
In order to obtain the variety of flowers needed to make our wild meadow, plants were sourced from a variety of places. New Covent Garden market provided us with a great range of artificial plant, grasses and wild flowers.
We were also able to make good use of the dead and dry plants from the Tower Hamlets Park Cemetery. Across the cemetery we were able to harvest a range of dried thistles and wild flowers which we brought back to the workshop and painted back to life. These have worked remarkably well amongst the other artificial plants and have really helped to bring the entire piece together.
The stems were painted back to a forest green and we added the pink/purple colour to the thistles by mixing some paint with sawdust, and crumbling it over the dried flower heads and painted the purple onto the buds for the other dried plants.
Our props department have worked tremendously hard planting all the pieces into the bases. This was done by drilling holes for each individual stem and fixing it into place. Some grasses were added in short strips to fill out the gaps and help to create a variety of texture.
Some close ups of our revived plants in the meadow
The final result has been very effective and well received by the designer. So a great job all round!