Phew! The Affluenza Chandelier is complete and has been put past the panel for assessment. Pretty much the most involved project I've ever completed I can finally breath a sigh of relief. It brought it's fair share of stress along the way but I learnt a lot. I now have metal wrangling skills and look at mundane objects and (non vegetable) refuse in a whole new way. I also learnt that if you are sick stay away from permanent super glue based decisions: in these instances blu tac can be your friend. I am also really lucky that we had our assessment in two parts and that I learnt in a forgiving environment that I am NOT, even about a project I know inside out, capable of speaking off the cuff. Fortunately I had a week until the graded panel assessment to get over the virus and learn my presentation off by heart - also rewrite it so it made sense (that helped, who knew?) and sell the concept behind my chandelier the best I could. In the end it seemed too much for some flan tins and plastic cutlery to embody the fullness of Hamilton's arguments in Affluenza so I narrowed it down to a metaphor: the Family Meal. That is taking the time to cook fresh ingredients in enduring materials and nurturing your connections with family and friends around the meal table in contrast with the takeaway meal eaten alone after a twelve hour day at work. The flowers are of course my depiction of the "Down Shifting" Hamilton cites as the cure for Affluenza. They start at the bottom tier, multiply in the middle and by the top tier form a thriving garden. Using yellow also helped me portray the sense of energy and new life and abundance (as opposed to material abundance) that comes from individuals downshifting (shame on anyone who thinks I used yellow because I've got a BIG crush on it and it's SO hot in design right now.....).
As a final note I should probably start calling it the Down Shifting chandelier because, like the book, it ends (and I'm hoping this comes across visually) with the feeling of optimism and new possibility. And plus no body wants a depressing chandelier do they?????