After reading the novel of "The Death of Ivan Ilych" as a group we discussed the necessary themes that would need to be portryed through the set design of Ivan's bedroom/study and drawing room. It is important that the set successfully represents the necessary baroque interior architecture of 19th century Russia and the psychological distress and fear of morality that is terrorising Ivan's mind. As a group we discussed many possible features that could be built into the design such as
o Forced into a black bag
o Hands pressing down forcing Ivan into the bag
o Pain personified as a third person ‘It’
o Isolation – nobody believed him
o Screens being ripped away
o Screaming for three days because life is wasted
It was decided that as Ivan died on the sofa in his bedroom/study that this room would depict his mental suffering and that the drawing room would be the representation of his artificial social climbing life with his work and family.
Over the next few days we all read the novel again I highlighted various sections that specifically discribe the room or his suffering. sections of the text that also discribe Ivan's personality were also important as his house must compliment his personality. especially as he designed the layout of the interior design in the house.
I brought in a short film from Jim Henson's 'Story Teller' (1988) called 'The Soldier and Death'. This tale I believed would be very useful to us as some insperation because it is an old russian folk tale. It is the story of a soldier who aquires a black sack and he can command anything into it. In order to cheat death and save his son she commands death into the sack. This related to our story as it showed us and example of a personification of death as a small cloaked creature. The inclusion of the sack in the story as a symbol in relation to death.
Other areas of inspiration we decided to lookinto were...
Other research I shall now conduct is on the 19th century baroque style of interior design and Russian architecture.