Date of Submission
Project Advisor 1
Project Advisor 2
Introduction to Quimby:
Quimby, the little green pom-pom with googly eyes and pipe-cleaner limbs, was my quarantine companion last Spring Semester while I was on the mostly empty campus. He was created during the beginning stages of the pandemic while I was stuck here at Bard finishing my classes remotely. They could go on adventures using his imagination while we were in quarantine, and they have followed me in my work ever since.The purpose of their creation was for their cute and simple character to use their imagination to have some wholesome fun, hopefully bringing smiles to people’s faces.
It was challenging having to develop something with hope as the central focus. The spring and summer of 2020 was quite difficult, but I think that the one thing that I was most hopeful for is when I can give hugs freely. Amid this pandemic, it's been hard for me not to feel lonely and isolated. I really just can’t wait until the day when I can go home and hug the rest of my friends and family without having to fear for everyone’s health. The hug coupon is probably less like something with monetary value (not because love and caring are priceless), but more of a coupon and reminder. I miss the times where I can freely wear my favorite shirt with Olaf from Disney’s Frozen that boldly shares the phrase “FREE HUGS.” That shirt and my love of hugs are where I got my idea for this project hope, innocence and the use of imagination. I really wanted to appeal to childhood, family and the importance of spending time together while using one’s imagination to boost creativity and togetherness.
Childhood Innocence & Imagination:
When I was a kid, I didn’t go to screens and technology to pass the time and be entertained. I remember playing make-believe, whether with just myself, with my brother, or anyone else we had around. With this pandemic, I’ve been thinking that screens have become the portal to seeing/connecting with others, the source of education. I really wanted to stay away from that a bit because I figured we are all a little fatigued from technology.
I used cardboard to be my main building material because it reminded me of when I was younger. Whenever my parents would buy large appliances or furniture, they come in a large cardboard box. My brother and I were always given the box to play with. As soon as we got the box, there were so many possibilities because it no longer was some mundane object. We made dollhouses, raceways, rocket ships, castles, and so much more with our imagination.
For my show, I created an environment similar to Quimby’s living room that morphs into their imaginary world. The living room is composed of a couch, two side tables, a coffee table, a window, a television remote and a clock all created out of cardboard. Above the couch, a picture of Quimby hugging their guardian is depicted. This set-up matches the living room in the illustrations that I drew and painted that were displayed on the wall wearing cardboard frames to fit the theme. All my digital work was documented and displayed in a slideshow projecting on the wall opposite to the couch to look like someone could sit down and watch TV showing the adventures that Quimby has gone on.
In the imaginary section of the show after you step off the welcome mat to the living room, there is a large cardboard island displaying a palm tree and open treasure chest filled with jewels. On the other side of the island, a large stuffed Quimby sits looking into his jewel-filled hands with amazement disregarding the map beside him. Opposite of the living room on the far side of the imaginary world, I created a cardboard castle complete with a drawbridge and a tower on each side. In one tower window, a small plush quimby wearing a gold crown sits with butterflies surrounding them while their hand reaches out and their hair drops out of the window in Rapunzel fashion.
Around the exhibition space, my illustrations of Quimby’s quests are hung on the walls with cardboard frames. Corresponding scenes and sets made of cardboard of course are placed throughout on stacked (cardboard) boxes. One is of a model plane soaring above the viewer’s head with Quimby in the cockpit waving. Another is themed like a jewel heist where Quimby is suspended from the ceiling of the museum above the case of a crown surrounded by red lasers. The next scene is astronaut Quimby floating in space around the planets and stars. Lastly, a small living room set with a fireplace and rocking chair is for when baby Quimby visits their grandparents in the winter. This last scene is really close to me because it reminds me of some of the wonderful memories that I had growing up with my grandparents.
In the future, I plan on animating more of the illustrations of Quimby’s quests and also using stop-motion animation in the sets to let them come to life.
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Hoelzel, Jamie E., "Quimby's Quests" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 261.
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