Laser Cut City

‘A World of Yesterday’s Tomorrows’ by Nadine Spencer a graduate of Nottingham Trent University. This fantastic intricate work is made up of nearly 800 laser cut buildings. That’s a lot of buildings to design, Nadine employed modern techniques such as laser cutting as well as traditional techniques such as hand cutting with a scalpel – that’s got to hurt after a while ouch!

‘Suspended between past and future, the city floated as on dark seas of unreality’ Small scale model.

Spencer’s work translates fantasy into visual spectacles, she builds these 3D illustrations through cutting techniques printed surfaces and optical illusions. The imagery behind Spencer’s motivations for the project came from books such as ‘Wasn’t the future wonderful’ by Tim Onosko but has also taken inspiration from St Paul’s and the Taj Mahal. The project is cleverly titled ‘A World of Yesterdays Tomorrow’ because the buildings are past visions of what people thought the world would become, it is the future that never happened.

Spencer’s work is fantastic! She has successfully created an impressive dramatic project that touches on fantasy and reality. ‘I have endeavoured to create a piece of work that has dramatic impact and is above all impressive to look at’ Spencer.  The combination of buildings and optical illusions creates an aura reminiscent of Metropolis the 1927 German expressionist science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang.

The fantastic imagery used in the project didn’t come easy, Spencer started with sketches and then more detailed illustrations and once happy with her design she would scan the designs into the computer and work through each design systematically to create the outlines for the laser cutting process. The material she used for the laser cutting had been mount board that was screen printed to enhance the effects of the project. In the end Spencer had 50 templates and nearly 800 buildings.

Spencer is now looking into set design for theatre, television or film, or potentially visual merchandising and window display.  She is looking to do even larger projects! Which sounds great! Perhaps a full scale laser cut building…that would be a huge technical challenge but it would be awesome!



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