‘There’s a certain vagueness to it, which I think binds us. You have to be attracted to the vagueness of scenography, it’s something we have to figure out, but we love to figure it out together.’ The master students of the master scenography are knee-deep in their final projects right now. With just a few more weeks of time before they have to set up their exhibition, they spend most of their time in the studio, the space they share as a group. It’s a very large studio, for a small group of students.
This year, they graduate with just the five of them. They have each other, it’s great to have a group of people to fall back on when moving to a different country. They come from all different places; Italy, Germany, Scotland, and yet they’ve found their sort of sanctuary, in both each other and the space that they’re in.
They’re on the verge of big deadlines, trying to tie up the ends of their ambitious projects. Their graduation project consists of a thesis, where they look into what their own practice is, and a work of art, that they create an exhibition around. In the two years of their masters, they learned to look into their creative process, what they’re drawn to, and, of course, they have a crash course in theatre.
Because this is, after all, a master course that is linked to the theatre department, even if none of the students have a history in theatre. They come from all different places of work and study, from communication- to interior design, from production design to fine arts and music.
The fact that they come from such different backgrounds also makes for a great variety in their work. Where one looks into the concept of music and the personal experience of tones and composition, someone else tries to create a space around the theme of ‘belonging’. They look into what it means to look at something, what safety and uncomfortability can look and feel like, or how to visualise grief. They make products, or create scenes, or manipulate the space they have to express what they want to express; whatever means or methods they use, they always seek a way to translate something deeply personal into something visual or tactile.
They will miss the bubble they’ve created together, next year. They’re very comfortable together, but these two years have been perfect, really, so it’s a good place to end. They’re looking forward to moving back home again, starting work, doing the things they set out to do. They will miss their safe space. But they’re ready to go.
Here they are
Now they’ve graduated. Their names are Thijs Baselmans, Madelief van de Beek, Verena Wieland, Kate Young, Anna Zorzi
This is the class of 2022 at HKU Theatre, MA Programme Scenography.
Fotography: Nikki Schuurman