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Posted 12.12.18

Thousands flock to Illuminate for magical light show

By Phillip Buchan

Illuminate 2018 photo courtesy of Real Ideas Org

Illuminate – the South West’s largest light show – returned to Plymouth with four days of spectacular immersive light installations at Royal William Yard, attracting over 28,000 visitors.

Nearly fifty of our BA (Hons) Animation, BA (Hons) Game Arts and BA (Hons) Digital Media Production students put their video-mapping skills into action on a large scale at the immersive light festival, 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’, used sardonic humour and absurdity in a grungy compilation of imaginative animated sequences.

Illuminate was 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 – as part of the build up to the Mayflower commemorations in 2020.

The organisers are already looking ahead to next year with plans to make Illuminate bigger, better and even more immersive and interactive as it launches the international Mayflower 400 commemorations in 2019.

Plymouth College of Art student work - Photo courtesy of Real Ideas Org

Third-year BA (Hons) Animation student Adrianna Krzoska, age 21 and originally from Poland, said: “My animation featured 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.”

Claire Honey from the Real Ideas Organisation, who led the Illuminate project team, said: “We’re thoroughly delighted, and a little overwhelmed, with the incredible response to Illuminate. This event has captured the hearts and minds of people in Plymouth who turned out in their tens of thousands to immerse themselves in Illuminate.

Photo by Plymouth College of Art student Eloise Scaysbrook

“This event really is a celebration of Plymouth; its historic buildings, the creative talent and vision in the city, and the digital innovation which is beginning to set us apart nationally and internationally – Illuminate is a platform to showcase this to the world.

“I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this event possible – the artists whose mesmerising work created an unbelievable experience, the Made in Plymouth partners (RIO, University of Plymouth, Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth Culture), Urban Splash, Plymouth City Council, City College Plymouth, JHAV and The Media Workshop, as well as everyone who visited and entered into our magical wonderland made of light. We can’t wait to get started on Illuminate 2019!”

Charles Hackett, Chief Executive of Mayflower 400 said: “Just a great event. Something for all ages, exploring the Mayflower 400 themes but also showcasing the creativity and innovation within Britain’s Ocean City. Thank you to all who attended, and congratulations to all the organisations and partners that made this event. Excited now to see the scale up in 2019 and 2020 as the opening and closing events of the Mayflower 400 cultural programme.”

Second-year BA (Hons) Game Arts student Megan Louise Cook, who moved from Leeds to attend Plymouth College of Art, said: “We 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.”

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