Artist Amanda Lwin is a cartogrpher, illustrator and creative producer, amongst many things! She will be opening up her studio this Saturday at the Rum Factory, Studio 7.
I am a creative producer of events, installations and products that are about civic identity and urbanism. Cities are made of more than bricks and mortar – cultivating civic identity, community networks and pride in the place where you live can be as important as – and sometimes more effective than – physical regeneration. My projects are all about telling or creating new stories about the places where we live. My first realised project, a festival putting music and art along the London Overground and aboard its trains, is about changing the way we experience music, and changing the way we experience places – thereby encouraging citizens to develop a deeper affinity towards physical and psychological urban networks – of place, identity and infrastructure.
In her studio you will be able to get a preview of an interactive game she has been working on. Avian Avenue is a game about terraced houses, their furnishings, and the lives lived within them. The first level is based in 1980s Stoke-on-Trent. It’s in beta at the moment but already looks beautiful!
''Avian Avenue is an interactive story about an ordinary street of terraced houses in Stoke on Trent. It takes the form of a richly-illustrated computer game, drawing upon local stories in a vivid and fantastical way.
A Victorian terraced house in Stoke on Trent. Entering the house (as an avian avatar, a tiny, fluttering bird), you discover a puzzle that needs to be solved in order to assist the inhabitants of the house. Just who those inhabitants are is deciphered through examining their belongings: their choice of furniture and furnishings, their precious objects and family mementoes. The game subtly reveals the myriad of stories hidden behind closed doors – their tragedies and joys, sorrows and yearnings. Through completing a practical puzzle, and delving deeper into the fabric of life within the house you fly around, you reveal a series of deeper mythologies illuminating the history and inhabitation of this home, this town, this century.
The anthropologist Daniel Miller contends that you can extrapolate more about a person from the objects they own and their relationship to them, than they will tell you in words. The game, therefore, is about exploring a character’s possessions and using these to tell stories about their life and their relationships, and the wider political period in which they are situated. Avian Avenue uses these immediate, visually rich but everyday environments to illuminate the lives lived therein. It tells a human story through the home.
Avian Avenue is love-letter to the everyday, using the texture and feeling of the familiar mixed with the fantastical to tell a human and cultural story, through a unique gaming experience.
Level one takes place in Stoke-on-Trent. Dovetail Foundry have spent the past year in Stoke gathering stories and looking into the history of the city, to produce the opening chapter of Avian Avenue: Stoke-On-Trent 1988.''
Amanda Lwin, Studio 7, the Rum Factory
Open Studios information
Rebecca Sainsot-Reynolds, Studios Administrator