What we doThe Hourglass

The Hourglass is an impressive 4-metre-high sculptural piece created in collaboration with light wizards Illuminos with a story by @arjimanuelpillai. It has internal projection mapping that can be toured and programmed with activities and performances around it. It features an interactive show that will help audiences to connect with the idea that we are all ‘one world’ and ‘one people'.

Please contact us to hear more and to book it for your festival or event

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"When creating this story for the hourglass I wanted to move the narrative away from the trauma and persecution that people escape as refugees, I wanted to show an audience that there is nothing more natural than migration. For centuries people have moved from country to country for money or for safety, just like animals have travelled because of climate and food. The idea of a border is a manmade conception dividing us and I believe that travel and migration are an integral part of our society. Something we should embrace and enjoy."

Arji Manuelpillai

The Story

Look! You’re flying in a storm, traipsing through the desert, swimming across the oceans, on journeys filled with excitement and danger. You are a young boy on an epic quest for safety, a wandering crane, a whale dashing across the ocean, all migrating to find new hope. Migration is the most natural thing in the world. Animals and humans have made epic journeys across our planet for as long as the world has existed. Immerse yourself in an interactive show that will help audiences to connect with the idea that we are all ‘one world’ and ‘one people’ on our journeys of discoveries.

Production Credits:

Produced by Emergency Exit Arts in partnership with Illuminos and Arji Manuelpillai

About Arji Manuelpillai

Arji Manuelpillai (www.arji.org) is a poet, performer and creative facilitator based in London. For over 15 years Arji has worked with community arts projects nationally and internationally. For over 15 years Arji has worked with migrant communities both nationally and internationally. He has visited refugee camps, Immigration removal centres and local youth centres connecting migrants with the arts. Recently, he was the Jerwood Arvon Mentee mentored by Hannah Lowe. His poetry has been published in magazines including Cannon’s Mouth, Strix, The Rialto and Bath Magg. He has also been shortlisted for the BAME Burning Eye pamphlet prize 2018, The Robert Graves Prize 2018, The Oxford Prize 2019, The Live Canon Prize 2020, The National Poetry Prize 2021 and Winchester Prize 2021. He has also come runner-up in the Robert Graves Prize 2020. Arji was provided a Develop Your Creative Practice grant from Arts Council in January and has been using the time to interview and discuss extremism in its many forms. Arji is a member of Wayne Holloway-Smith’s poetry group, Malika’s Poetry Kitchen and London Stanza. Arji’s debut pamphlet ‘Mutton Rolls' was published with Out-Spoken Press in 2020.

About Illuminos

Illuminos (www.illuminos.co.uk) are brothers Matt and Rob Vale, who for over 10 years have been creating visually inventive, memorable projection artworks and experiences. Their works range from very large-scale illumination to small scale imagery, but always working to create something unique and specific to location and viewer. Formed around a principal of People, Site, Animation, and often combining elements of installation, dance, theatre, pyrotechnics and music, each project that they approach develops from an exploration of the emotions of an environment, aiming to capture the essence of a place, space or feeling as a shared moment of time.


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