The Red Room at Mottisfont

Mottisfont Red room 15 02 19 correctedWe are delighted to be back at Mottisfont National Trust working on a new commission for the Red Room which will be completed in January 2020.

The Red Room is characterised by its patterned red wall paper which sits oddly with a reveal of stonework belonging to the walls of the former Priory.  This section was left exposed by the previous owner – Maud Russell, who thought it would be amusing for her guests to see a glimpse of what lay beneath the papered surface.  The mosaic above the door, designed by the Russian artist Boris Anrep and commissioned by Maud,  makes reference to Mottisfont’s origins and its foundation as the Priory of the Holy Trinity.

Following in Anrep’s footsteps we will be drawing on Mottisfont’s history to develop an immersive sound and video installation which will take an imaginative journey through the architectural layers of Mottisfont.

The imagery for this work will be created from 3D point cloud data which has been generated from 3D laser scans taken in and around Mottisfont House in May this year.

A 3D point cloud is essentially a drawing of light created from millions of points of reflected light, built up to create an intricately detailed 3D representation of a space or object. It is as if the surface of every single form has been cast from particles of light.

One of the high definition scanning markers used for the 3D laser scanning process
Scanning taking place outside the Morning Room 
We have worked with Geosight, a local surveying company, to undertake the scans and they have provided us with the point cloud data. This data will be rendered and used to generate a series of animated journeys through Mottisfont using digital software such as Cloud Compare , Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects.

The beauty of working with this type of media is the ability to visually move fluidly from one space to another and create new ways of seeing and experiencing the building.  We are interested in exploring the different boundaries of the building  and visually re-connecting parts of Mottisfont through time and space.

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Initial render of the point cloud data.  This is a view looking down through the roof of the Cellarium
Mottisfont is peppered with clues of its previous incarnations but it takes a bit of detective work and imagination to piece the parts together.  Brian, one of the volunteers at Mottisfont, gave us a fascinating tour of the building pointing out some of the different architectural features.  Each of these are like are like markers in time, enabling us to build a picture of the space between the parts that are left.   Some, like the excavated  columns pictured below, have been moved to another location by a different owner, adding another layer of complexity to the puzzle.

Photo of columns thought to belong to the C13th Chapter House. These were uncovered by Mrs Vaudry-Barker-Mill when removing the ramp up to the Morning Room in about 1900.  They now stand in the vestibule of the east entrance of the house
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The excavated column now located in the vestibule of the east entrance of Mottisfont House