set design: Daisy & Wonder Weeds

  • Type illustration, daisy and the wonder weeds, weeds, food production, montreal,

Painting of Megapolis as a the futuristic garden city

Illustration of Megapolis as an overpolluted city which has lost all connection to nature

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These are two paintings for the musical “Daisy and the Wonder Weeds” by Jean- Elliott Manning. They were created to develop the image of the two worlds juxtaposed in the story. In the workshop performances these were used as backdrops.

One illustrative painting is of Megapolis in it’s deteriorating state of pollution, urban decay and sprawl. The other painting is Megapolis as the futuristic garden city, a vision of the character Aunt Dee (with clin-d’oeils to Buckminster’s Fullers geodesic dome and the Wizard of Oz’s Yellow Brick Road and Over The Rainbow)

The musical’s story centers on the last green space in Megapolis, a city gone mad with overzealous, uncontrolled expansion projects. Aunt Dee has the only garden left in the city and her nephew, a real estate developer, is set on eliminating this last urban link to nature. At the same time, Aunt Dee’s memory appears to be going and she takes up painting envisioning the city as a garden.

Told in a naive style, a cast of flora and fauna who live in Aunt Dee’s garden learn to work together in order to have a sustainable relationship with their environment. The plot develops around the love story between the protagonists, Daisy the humble flower and Dandelion a common weed.

The message on the importance of local food production and of weeds as a vital resource for regeneration and biodiversity, as well as other benefits provided by green spaces in urban locales, comes alive song. “Listen to the Drums” pounds out a compelling theme about our connection to the natural world, while “Chemical Nightmare” paints a stinging portrait of what awaits cities that become overly dependent on fossil fuels.

Client: Jean-Elliott Manning and Next Wave Festival of New Musicals
Location: Monument National Theatre, Montréal
End of project: 2010