SpacePlay Easter Egg Hunt

In early April a company called SpacePlay came to the University Of Wolverhampton to conduct an Easter Egg hunt. This was no ordinary Easter Egg though it was made of concrete.

SpacePlay are well known for their concrete models of iconic brutalist buildings, with classics like Trellick Tower, Birmingham New Street Signal Box, Forton Services and also the University Of Wolverhampton’s School Of Art building.

Every year they create a concrete egg themed on the building that the hunt will take place in or around, this year the Egg was styled as per the MK Building or the George Wallis building which stands above the Molineux stadium.

I’d volunteered to assist with the day to get involved with off-course stuff as well as pick up a concrete egg as part payment. I’d recently won a concrete model of the Wolves School Of Art in a competition so this would be a great addition to the shelf behind my desk.

On the Saturday morning I met up in reception with Samuel, Henrietta and Charlotte the other student volunteers as well as Claire and Tim from the faculty staff. We were given roles from the Spaceplay guys and Henriette and I were tasked with restocking the tokens that would need to be found by the participants of the hunt. Another task I had was to take some photographs throughout the three sessions.

It started off in the lecture theater with a brief explanation of the event and a video about the University from a previous student before the hunt got underway. Small concrete tiles or tokens were hidden under some of the lecture theatre seats and clues given in the leaflets as to where to look for them. The idea being that if you collected all six different styles of tokens you could make a side view of the building and a complete puzzle would earn you a concrete egg.

There were other ways to win a hand-grenade looking egg too, answering questions that the answers could be found in the different zones they’d be exploring as well as collecting images of stickers hidden around the route. There was also an online version on Instagram where SpacePlay followers were given six clues to buildings and then had to use the clues to unlock an egg on the SpacePlay website.

Timing was crucial for each session, the intro was short and sweet, the guests were then given three minutes to search for some tiles/tokens in the first zone before being ushered out into zone 2. Samuel was helpfully building tension by playing the Crystal Maze music too. Some people were panicking and walking right past the very tiles they should have spotted.

Zone 2 consisted of the Foundation Year’s room where a search for two minutes might have yielded a token or two in the drawers used to store artwork flat. Some people found them easily and some did not. A couple of cheeky guests found the box of tokens hidden to restock the room later and had a couple out of there before I spotted it.

Once their short time was up they had five minutes to arrange some pieces of a jigsaw into a holder which, if done correctly, would yield the answer to one of the questions on the sheet that they required. Some got this really quickly and some never got the answer at all. There was a dad of a family who had completed his and then sat back and let his family struggle, which made me chuckle.

From Zone 2 we moved up to Zone 3, which is on the top floor where two minutes to find some tiles were allowed before a short video in the Screen Room about the building and the university which was full of memories from students and staff past and present. The answer to the Zone 3 question was in this video too. The tiles had been stashed on the window frames and most of them had gone when Henrietta and I went to restock them.

Zone 4 on the third floor was a trip to talk to the Archivist, Tom. he shared some really interesting documents and articles about the building throughout the years and one of the clues was in a poster, if you wrote down the answer to the question as to what the building’s nickname used to be, then you could get an answer for your collection.

After bombarding Tom the Archivist with pieces of paper the Gunters (see Ready Player One) made their way down the impressive main staircase where there were a number of tiles hidden. There was also an opportunity to count the number of boards used to shutter the concrete when it was constructed, another answer to a question. Popping out of Zone 5 on the ground floor it was time for a trip outside.

Zone 6 was to be found in the garden of the building, around the white structure, of which the spikes needed counting to answer a question, and then a hunt around the bases of the trees might yield a tile to help complete the set of six required to pick up an egg.

After the couple of minutes out here it was time to head back in and see if anyone had enough correct answers or enough tiles to qualify to pick up a prize egg.

The families that had been running around the zones previously now all sat to complete a six piece puzzle, some of them didn’t have the right combination of pieces so they set off quickly to look in the garden or the stairs to see if they could find the right piece.

A couple of the groups were successful and picked up an egg from the token puzzle completion and two others from answering the questions correctly. The people who’d photographed the stickers around the route and shared them on their Instagram would be entered into a draw for an egg too.

After two more of these sessions we were done. It seemed that all who came enjoyed themselves immensely, even the four of us volunteers had a great time laughing along with the hunters and the other staff members.

Picking up an egg from Claire I then left to go home and start selecting some photos to share with the Uni for them to share with SpacePlay. Just before I did leave though I spoke to the guys who were there from SpacePlay and gave them each a copy of my car park zine before having a quick discussion about other brutalist buildings and then I left them to it. One of the guys was heading home to Belgrade so I didn’t want to delay him further.

All in all it was a good experience, I got to volunteer with three school colleagues who I’d not met before, chat with staff, members of the public and the SpacePlay guys. I had a laugh, got to see parts of the Uni that I hadn’t previously, take some photos to document it and then have them published on the @wlv_soa instagram feed, also reshared by the SpacePlay channel.

And I got an Egg!! No yolk.

One Comment

  1. […] of art, I’ve pushed myself out there a bit more this year too. I’ve volunteered for the SpacePlay Easter Egg Hunt, Print Club, work for the FABSS Voice magazine, a photo walk with Black Country type, visiting the […]

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