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Tiarna McPherson
Bachelor of Design (Graphic Design & Performance Design)
Performance Design / Graphic Design
Set model box with figure

Set Design 'The Tempest'

Act 2 Scene 2- Caliban sits in the throne that Prospero built from a pile of fallen sand in Act 1 Scene 2.Tiarna McPherson


Costume Designs 'The Tempest'

Characters wear loose, white linen clothing. The treatment of the linen reveals whether the character is real or imagined by Prospero.

Wrinkled and dirty represents immorality, whilst clean represents fantasy. The inclusion of crowns and swords made of sticks, as well as sandpit tool accessories, hint at Prospero’s reality as a castaway. These designs were drawn with dry pastels to reflect the sandy texture of the set.

Image: Tiarna McPherson


Alonso's Crown, 'The Tempest'

Alonso's crown is made entirely of sticks, urging the audience to question him as a character and consider the weight his status carries in this foreign land.

Image: Tiarna McPherson


Tiarna McPherson completed her Bachelor of Design majoring in both Performance and Graphic Design at the University of Melbourne in 2023.

She enjoys being analytical, breaking down stories to hone in on what they communicate or could potentially communicate to contemporary audiences. This leads her to produce works that are multi-faceted and metaphoric, telling a story through visual language. The skills and development she acquired from her studies have only made her more eager to pursue a career in set design and continue creating little worlds.


'The Tempest'

Prospero’s mind spirals as his time on earth dwindles. His fragile dreams of reclaiming his dukedom over Milan are manifested in this set, which he builds from the island’s sand. Much like his dreams, this set erodes over the course of the play, partially as a result of the falling sands of time. The throne he builds in Act 1, Scene 2 represents power. Surrounding this throne is a ring of twelve sandcastles that mark the number of years Prospero has been stranded.

The Juliet balconies act as the ship as well as a transcendental plane for the characters to oversee. The metaphoric suggestion of an hourglass forces the audience to question the reality they are presented with, once “the world itself- and everyone living in it… has dissolved” (The Tempest 4.1 153-154 (Modern Translation)).