Brolly Studios was designed with a poem in mind - Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came by Robert Browning. In a quest to separate origins from aims, the irony that aims always to wander back toward origins can only be revealed after a long and often perilous (artistically and personally) journey. This was the quest for Brolly Studios, in a conceited Promethean move, to design separation in an attempt to bind aims and origins together.
Just as the poem’s hero wanders through lies, deserts, despair, highways, doubt and plains, so too does the visitor to Brolly Studios. The irony opens up to synecdoche (parts that stand in for the whole), which condenses into metaphor and metonymy, cascades into metalepsis and points to conceit.
When you arrive to the space you’re delivered already part way in your journey, a turn, which way?, already committed… You’re in the vast void of the middle. The studios present themselves behind you openly but somehow like a maze, and before you stands a dark tower. It is surrounded at its base by a modest modern wood box, as if washed up upon the shore of a change in flooring. To the left are the amenities, to the right a suprematist cloud, under which is a meeting room and beyond is a kitchen.
The dark tower, not unlike a hermit’s craggy grotto, obfuscates a bed-nest (not a room/an un-room), with a small window cut out of it. A bridge joins the lofty white cube beside it. It stands in for all the poets, philosophers, thinkers and hermits whose thoughts retain the oscillating conundrums of here and there, one and many, either/or, love and despair, art and its shadow, and more. The white room was built for a baby boy (Melmo) who joined the space in 2012.
Between the irony of the ‘samba’ stairs (double height over run by specifying which foot gets to tread) and the ramp (inefficient but fun); the contortions of the open bathroom, the community mill in the kitchen and the many designers, droners, entrepreneurs and makers who cohabited with resident Megg Evans, produced a social/spatial matrix of magic, mayhem and music (with a jazz club below).