A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics so far
A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics...

Sarah Finnan

Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs
Sustainable Irish sleepwear brands to help you catch some zs

Sarah Finnan

Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children died’
Andrew McGinley: ‘I cannot forgive the act of murder. I can’t forgive how my children...

Amanda Cassidy

What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother
What actually consitutes self-care when you’re a mother

Sophie White

The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage
The expert guide to your hair problems, from thinning hair to heat damage

Melanie Morris

Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list
Best hotel restaurants: 16 places to add to your Irish staycation bucket list

Sarah Finnan

Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety
Here’s how you can manage symptoms of work anxiety

Jennifer McShane

Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach
Step straight onto the sand with these 5 Irish hotels on the beach

Megan Burns

5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life
5 inspiring self-help books that will change your life

Jennifer McShane

Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning
Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

Interview: Body & Soul Head of Decor


by IMAGE
16th Jun 2015
blank

Crowd Tree Installation

blank
blank
blank
blank
blankSee More Photos
blank
blank
blank

Ahead of the hugely anticipated Body & Soul festival this weekend (and it looks set to be a scorcher, hoorah!), we catch up with Mary Pike, Head of Decor for this dreamy festival. Having just returned to Ireland after years of working on the props and sets of Hollywood blockbusters, this is one woman we couldn’t wait to sit down with. Mary has spent nine years working in New Zealand on Hollywood movies that included The Hobbit, Spiderman, Avatar and most recently the yet to be released Johnny Depp Disney movie ?Through the Looking Glass?. After years of creating the props and sets of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters?Mary?has now taken on another interesting role as Head of Decor for one of Ireland’s most experiential and dramatic festivals. In her first festival role, at this year’s Body & Soul, she is charged with designing and decorating the festival and all of the stages as well as co-ordinating all of the 40 + artists involved in the festival. As Irelands only festival ?Head of Decor?,?Mary will be working her magic on a festival that is known for its twisting labyrinth of cubby-holes and curious corners, coloured with surprises from hanging picture and spinning gramophones to a glittering collection of art pieces and installations.

We’re excited, are you? Here’s what she had to say…

Mary, it sounds like you have the coolest job in the world – how did you find yourself here? I arrived back in Dublin to set up a small business at the end of last year and was looking for a part time job to supplement and compliment this when I found the ad for Decor Manager at Body & Soul. I was delighted and intrigued.

You’ve had many incredible experiences, by the sounds of it, what was the highlight? Very hard to say. I’ve been really fortunate career wise in that I’ve continued to grow year on year and do different things. I guess one of the few times I achieved a specific goal was getting to Production Design a feature film before I turned 30.

You must have met some amazing people too, who has really inspired you? My boss at Weta Workshop in Wellington, Richard Taylor has been an inspiration for many years. He has a huge amount of creative energy and his collaborative and exciting methods of idea generation, and concept development have influenced me greatly.

What’s the best thing about your job? Working with a great team of creative people who love what they do.

What’s the hardest thing? I’m essentially flying blind into this year’s festival, so I guess, fear of the unknown?

Of all the incredible things you’ve worked on, what is it that brings you back to something like Body & Soul? Festivals are really a small industry in New Zealand compared to here so I was really interested to get involved and see what draws so many people to them here in Ireland and also interested in a completely new design challenge.

What sets Body & Soul apart from the rest for you? The amount of focus given to my department and to the large number of visual artists involved.

When it comes to something like Body & Soul, do you just run with whatever you think will be interesting, or do you set specific themes? Always good to work with visual themes. It makes for a more impressive overall feel especially when you’re covering such a large area.

Talk us through your creative process. Examination of the brief and design parameters (site, budget, time frame etc) lots of visual research, a loose plan, brainstorming concepts and filtering out impractical ideas, a more concrete plan then design of individual aspects and an overall design proposal.

Do you take the level of revelry (i.e. drunkenness!) into account when designing for Body & Soul? Yes. Definitely. This is the first time I’ve ever had to consider this, and it’s a new challenge. Everything up and out of reach. People have been found wearing willow lanterns in the past to name but one misdemeanour!

Will you get to enjoy the festival? Yes. The bulk of my duties are before and after the festival so I’m one of the lucky ones who’ll get to let my hair down a bit!

What career advice would you have for someone reading this and thinking ‘that’s something I would love to do’? Body and Soul is a great organisation for offering access to get involved. If you can develop some of the necessary creative skills, you can apply to volunteer with the Decor Team and be part of the festival. Hard working, creative people are welcomed with open arms, and there’re plenty of opportunities to learn new processes and learn from really talented folk.

Describe yourself in three words… direct, resourceful, laid-back

Also Read

brain
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

blank
EDITORIAL
Emerging after the pandemic: ‘There’s an awkwardness to my interactions, like I’ve forgotten how to socialise’

In just a few months, human contact became one of the most feared gestures. Being around people we loved was...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
The life-changing act of binning all your terrible underwear

A life of wearing the wrong underwear had Sophie White’s knickers in a twist. She reports on the unexpected satisfaction...

By Sophie White

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
When speaking about ageing, we should follow Julianne Moore’s lead

Actress Julianne Moore is tired of all the cliched tropes about female ageing. The way we speak about it; the...

By Jennifer McShane

DIY wall murals
EDITORIAL
People are getting creative with their walls in lockdown and we’re dying to give it a go

While staying at home and with plenty of time to spare, creative people are turning to their walls as a...

By Megan Burns

blank
EDITORIAL
This is what happens when you hypersexualise young girls growing up

Who is demanding the fetishization of young girls anyway?”When I was working in my early twenties, and even my late...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
Andrew McGinley: ‘I know that they wouldn’t want me to be sad.’

Following the utterly devastating trial of his wife Deirdre last week, Andrew McGinley spoke afterward of the love of his...

By Jennifer McShane