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Illuminate 2017: A light festival for Plymouth

Projection mapping at Fete de l'Anim 2016. Image credit © Morgan Rio.

Illuminate, an event marking the anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, will take place at Plymouth’s historic Royal William Yard from 24 - 26 November.

The former victualling yard will be lit up with light installations, immersive visual art and light projections inspired by the values of Mayflower 400; freedom, humanity, imagination and future.

Plymouth College of Art staff and students will be involved in the event in a variety of ways, from running creative workshops to creating projection mapping that will illuminate the historic buildings at Royal William Yard.

Light projections have been designed and mapped by students from the college, who as part of the European funded project Euranim, will be working in collaboration with animation students from across France, Belgium, Hungary, Denmark and Finland.

The launch night on Friday 24 November will be a fantastic evening, with light shows, installations and projections at 6.15pm, 7.15pm and 8.15pm, accompanied by music and a local DJ. Food stalls and a bar will also be open all evening, with projections and music finishing at 10pm. Entry is free, although there will be an optional charge of £2.

Fun creative workshops are also being run by staff from the college as part of the programme of events, check out more details below. You can find out more about the plans for Illuminate and Mayflower 400 at or

Illuminate 2017: Plymouth College of Art Workshops

Coding with Light Workshop
Plymouth College of Art presents a fun workshop playing with coding and light! Using starter kits, participants will be taught how to connect wires and components to Arduino circuit boards. No soldering will be necessary as the wires are directly inserted into circuit blocks and boards. Participants will be taught to write and link code, creating a wide range of possibilities involving the use of LCD displays, light sensors and LEDs. No prior knowledge of coding is necessary but basic knowledge of using computers is recommended. All materials and equipment will be provided.

What: Coding with Light Workshop (5+)​
When: Thursday 23 & Friday 24 November, 10am to 12noon / 1pm to 3pm​
Where: Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard
Cost: £3 - book now

Reflective T-shirt Printing Workshop
During this fun workshop delivered by Rosie Drake-Amery of Native Makers and Plymouth College of Art, you will design and decorate your own reflective T-shirt using decorative textile techniques. You will be shown how to print using garment vinyl to create a reflective motif. Blank T-shirts will be provided, please wear closed-toe shoes. No prior textiles experience is required.​​

What: Reflective T-shirt Printing Workshop (5+)
When: Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November, 10am to 12noon / 1pm to 3pm / 3pm to 5pm​
Where: Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard
Cost: £3 - book now



What: Illuminate 2017

Where: Royal William Yard,  Plymouth, PL1 3RP

When: 23 - 26 November, see above for times of workshops and evening shows

  • Exhibition
  • Royal William Yard, Plymouth, PL1 3RP