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The Greatest Photo Booth


The Greatest Photo Booth is a collaboration with Peter Thornett from Dangerous Stiltwalkers. We have created a photo booth from National Fairground archive. 
In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the National Fairground Archive (NFA), in association with Festival of the Mind; a retail inspired exhibition in the Sheffield Bazaar at Castle House is commissioned. The exhibition was curated by Professor Vanessa Toulmin Director of the NFA and Felicity Hoy of Common People CIC. The old Post Office floor at Castle house was taken over and built with small shops made from reclaimed wooden pallets. The pallet shops were approx 3mx3m (similar to a standard market marquee) and they were built by Mesters Events. There are 10 shops and 10 commissions available. The festival ran from the 18th-28th of September. 
It was a celebration and reflection both the inspirational Bramwell Taylor Collection relating to illegitimate entertainment practices in Victorian London and also the material that related to early pop up shows and shops in what became the West End of London (encompassing Regent Park, Regents’ Street, Charing Cross Leicester Square). Professor Toulmin’s work was inspired by the intersection between what becomes legitimate and sustaining in entertainment practice in the 19th century and our photo booth got its inspiration from this period.
This project aims to push the boundaries of current high street retail and make people think outside the box in order to animate a small shop; with hope that these ideas will be taken forward into the real world. This project reflected the best and most creative of Sheffield and was a magical collaborative exhibition that drew people into a soon to be ‘dead area’ of the city centre and into history.

During this project, I have collaborated with Pete Thornett, circus performer, show man. I come up with a concept and he has done most of the building and graphic designing.  It was a true experience working with Professor Vanessa. She opened the doors of the National Fairground archive, which is amazing and you can visit it by getting an appointment. After going through thousands of 19th century circus posters, photos of entertainer, we decided on approximately 100 to use at the decoration and inspiration of the Photo Booth. 
Pete Thornett trying props at The Greatest Photo Booth on Earth[/caption]During the festival days, shops were open from 10 am till 5 pm.  

It was so great to work with Pete. He is a true showman and very knowledgeable and creative in the details when it comes to visualising an entertainment space for the public...

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