Love for the Báb motivates months of meticulous mahi
Around the country, many friends are finding their own unique ways to utilise the arts in celebrating the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb.
Among them, two members of the Central Hawkes Bay Bahá’í community have collaborated to create a model of the House of the Báb in Shíráz. It will be featured at the Immerse exhibition which will be held at Creative Arts Napier.
Other activities where the local friends plan to display the model include a public presentation with the Mayor present on Sunday 6 October at Dee and David Carr’s home, and a devotional gathering at Jill and Ian Cookson’s home the following Sunday. The Central Hawkes Bay friends are arranging a pop up store in town to display the model for a week before it goes to the Immerse exhibition.
David Carr, one of the friends involved in this initiative, describes the process:
Over a year ago, I think it was at the Feast of Names, the August before last, Keith Mitcherson was looking at a photo of the interior of the upper room of the House of the Báb, and said to me, “why don’t we make a model of the room for the bicentenary? We could submit it to the Immerse Art Exhibition in Napier.” So a collaborative project was born. I would make the actual model and Keith would do the artwork.
Being something of a handyman I loved the challenge and decided to expand it a bit and do the house and courtyard, to make it a complete unit. I also decided to include lights and audio of some sort.
We scoured the internet to get as many photos as we could to make it as accurate and authentic as we could.
We quickly worked out that getting the dimensions was not easy, as no two photos are from the same perspective or to the same scale. Fortunately I am married to a maths teacher, and she soon had the ratios worked out.
I started by making a cardboard mockup, then made it in MDF. I spent many hours on a scroll saw, and then Keith took over to do the beautiful windows and plaster work.
We decided on LED lighting and a flickering LED in the lamp, which we realise is not authentic, and some electronic wizardry from my son Philip to get the audio. We have used “The Promised One” and “Immerse Yourselves”, beautifully set to music by Luke Slott and Elika Mahony. Thanks Luke and Elika.
Margot Macphail, an artist who is a member of the Hastings Bahá’í community commented: “These photos [see below] are great but can’t do a model such as this the credit it deserves! It is 99% to scale. The interior colours were all researched as were the wall mouldings, the tiles, etc and matched as closely as possible. The lantern in the room lights up! The room itself is illuminated. And you can look into the room through the back of the model itself.”
Entries are open for the Immerse art exhibition until 11 October. Details can be found on the Immerse home page at: http://immerse.nz/. (Scroll to the bottom of the home page to find a button for the entry form.)
See a video of the model below.
Click on the thumbnails to see the whole photos.