Tuesday, 17 August 2010


The turtle was made a few years ago for a the touring show Arena by EEA. Since then it has had many outings to various festivals and processions. I was commissioned to work on its new look for the Baishakhi Mela.
It was a great project because it was so big. The shell was made in four sections with the head and flippers as separate moving parts.I had to completely redesign and recover the shell and also touch up and mend the head and flippers.

The metal frame was designed and welded by Gordon.

Once the frame was primed I started the decorating. The fabric used to stretch over the frame was a waterproof flexible nylon that I salvaged from another project.Due to the shape of the metal sections there was a lot of pulling and pinching and darts similar to what I would do when making a costume.Every fabric surface that touched the metal had to be glued and stitched.

The turtle was designed to be used as a lantern during night time processions and events so I am cutting out the panels to fit designs into.Again this all had to be hand stitched into place.

Cutting and stitching designs. The patterns were inspired by traditional Bangladeshi print and embroidery. It would have been lovely to hand stitch and embroider but not possible within the budget and time scale.The patterns were stitched on an industrial sewing machine.

Each panel then had to be glued and stitched into place.

The backs were lined with a white nylon to defuse the lights that would later be fitted and each section had to be varnished.

The sections were looking a bit bare so I designed and had some aluminum sheet cut and applied with the help of Gordon.

Repainted and decorated turtle head.

Turtle on parade with moving parts and sound system.


  1. Yes I loved working on this but did my back in dragging those bits around the studio.

  2. Glad to find you on blogspot, you know I think your work is phenomenal and this piece is so lush!!

  3. Thanks. Ill try and upload some video, it's great to see it in action. The flippers and head move and it blasts dance music from the sound system as it is driven down the street.