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Posted 16.11.18

Illuminate 2018 – 50 of our students and grads create innovative light installations

By Phillip Buchan
The light-based festival, Illuminate, returns to Plymouth’s historic Royal William Yard from 22 to 25 November 2018, offering an immersive experience, with projections, light installations and interactive performance opportunities set out across the Yard.

Nearly fifty of our BA (Hons) Animation, BA (Hons) Game Arts and BA (Hons) Digital Media Production students from Plymouth College of Art will be putting their video-mapping skills into action on a large scale, on the side of Royal William Yard’s Melville Building, working with additional guidance from recent BA (Hons) Animation graduate Jamie Knight.

Jamie, whose studies in video-mapping as part of the Creative Europe funded project Euranim took him to Hungary, France and Germany during his studies at Plymouth College of Art, now specialises in animation and projection-mapping. Influenced by disruptive street art and dark satire, his new piece for Illuminate 2018, ‘Kill Your TV’, uses sardonic humour and absurdity in a grungy complication of imaginative animated sequences.

Students prepare demos for Illuminate 2018

The Illuminate Light Festival has been designed and delivered by Made in Plymouth CIC – a partnership between the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), Plymouth College of Art, the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Culture. Illuminate is the South West's largest light show, with 10,000 people expected to visit the free festival this year.

Students from Plymouth College of Art creating new work for Illuminate 2018 include:

  • Second-year BA (Hons) Digital Media Production student Thomas Cass.
  • Second-year BA (Hons) Animation students Eleanor Barnes, Rezaan Basardien, Kyah Coles, William Gannon, Joshua Harding, Lorelei Heyns, Alexander Jones, Hannah Kew, Anton Kohlhaussen, Reece Large, Harry Long, Boyd Morley, Scott Patrick, Ashleigh Pell, Jake Stanley, Cameron Strange, Christopher Tuck, Megan    Walters, Lauren Wilson and Char Wolf.
  • Third-year BA (Hons) Animation students Warren Chare, Clint Granville, Adrianna Krzoska and Elliot Rowe.
  • Second-year BA (Hons) Game Arts students Sophia Aston, Steven Bateman, Penelope Beresford-Williams, Chloe Carpenter, Jamie Cook, Megan-Louise Cook, James Dawson, Sam Elliott, Michael Heard, Zak Johnson, William Jones, Katie King, Jack Marl, Kane Milne, Christopher Murphy, Conor Muskett, Elaine Pope, Dominic Ridley, Ellie Smith, Edward Westmoreland-Caunter, Jordan Wills and Ellesse Woodward.

BA (Hons) Animation student Char Wolf

Second-year BA (Hons) Animation student Char Wolf, age 19 from Plymouth, said: “The opportunity to create something for Illuminate has been very exciting. I drew inspiration from footage on YouTube of a video-mapping project in Germany, which used light to break up a massive building, and I used that as a starting point to create futuristic imagery to bring the Melville Building to life. Before working on this project I wanted to specialise in character animations, but now I’m definitely considering a career in video-mapping.”

BA (Hons) Game Arts student Zak Johnson

Second-year BA (Hons) Game Arts student Zak Johnson, who moved from Surrey to study at Plymouth College of Art, said: “Taking inspiration from the Mayflower journey across the sea, I wanted to work the theme of water into my animation. I’ve created giant taps that fill the Melville Building with water and can’t wait to see them full-size. I’ve definitely learned new skills that I’ll be using in my future career.”

BA (Hons) Animation student Adrianna KrzoskaThird-year BA (Hons) Animation student Adrianna Krzoska, age 21 and originally from Poland, said: “My animation features flames projecting on the Melville Building, working with the existing architecture and playing with shadows and forms to manipulate the shapes that already exist on the building. The art of animation is all about creating an illusion, and working with video-mapping to transform architecture can create brilliant results.”

BA (Hons) Game Arts student Megan Louise Cook

Second-year BA (Hons) Game Arts student Megan Louise Cook, who travelled from Leeds to attend Plymouth College of Art, said: “We’ve created animations to project onto the cow sculptures in Royal William Yard and really bring them to life, representing how cows are treated in different parts of the world. Ultimately I want to specialise in concept art in the film, television and game industries, but for Illuminate I tried something completely new, learning how to use Adobe After Effects to a tight deadline. I’m really proud with what we achieved.”

BA (Hons) Animation student Cameron Strange

Second-year BA (Hons) Animation student Cameron Strange, age 19, from Weymouth, Dorset, said: “I’ll need to specialise in a particular area to succeed in the animation industry when I graduate, but Illuminate has given me a chance to experiment with something new. 3D animation is my strongest area, but for Illuminate I’m using more analogue techniques, filming paint powders and water to create and animate some stunning colours.”

Illuminate project manager Claire Honey, from the Real Ideas Organisation, said: “It is fantastic to see so many students from different institutions across Plymouth want to get involved in this year’s festival. Illuminate is committed to supporting the next generation of artists in Plymouth, and to help the creative industries grow.”

Graduate Jamie Knight works with students to prepare for Illuminate 2018

Animator and video-mapping specialist Jamie Knight said: “This year I’m working on my own installation, ‘Kill Your TV’, which will be downstairs in Ocean Studios and is intended as a reminder of the importance and individuality of imagination. I’m also working with students at Plymouth College of Art to provide training and guidance based on my experience of working on projection-mapping festivals in other countries. I created the photogrammetry and subsequent 3D print of the Melville Building for students to test their projections and now we’re all hard at work refining how they’ll look projected at full scale. From what they’ve delivered so far, Illuminate 2018 is going to be an incredible spectacle.”

New for this year is the use of water screen technology, as artists experiment with projecting onto the sea as well as land.

Video-mapping demos on a 3D model of the Melville Building printed in Fab Lab Plymouth

International artists and friends of Plymouth College of Art, Xavi Bové and Thomas Voillaume, have also been invited to bring pieces to the festival. Bové’s piece, ‘Visual Songs’, creates a link between songs and their visual representation. Performed live, visitors can conduct virtual brushes to create their own personalised artwork, which they can print and take home with them afterwards.

Voillaume will bring ‘Human’, a sculpture of a humanoid form that light and video is projected onto. The light gives the sculpture emotions and reveals its history, blurring the lines between reality and hallucination.

Other artists creating installations include Mark Parry, Paige Alexander, 1000 Errors, Juliet Middleton-Batts, Josh Small and Effervescent.