A Journey of Light
Proposal images for Artichoke's 2021 'Brilliant' commission
To design an outdoor installation piece for Durham city centre using light to inspire audiences based on a theme of your choosing
A series of projections that entice audience members to follow a path along the street.
A story unfolds depicting a series of animals and mythical creatures that transform and evolve, travelling across the surface of the buildings.
After an interval, as the audience are led on a journey, the projected videos start again, enticing a new audience. Viewers proceed in small groups, continually following the projections and discovery the story as the imagery emerges ahead and disappears behind them.
Projectors are mounted on brackets, projecting moving images onto the walled buildings opposite. They are set at intervals along the narrow street which winds round corners, depicting an element of discovery. Each projector repeats a timed animation that follows on to the next projector. A story unfolds, leading the viewer down the street, to discover the next projection as it appears before them. The sequential visual story develops and then disappears behind them, until, after a short pause the projections repeat, enticing more viewers to watch the emerging imagery.
The animation is based on the theme of animals and mythical beasts. The story follows one animal-being that both encounters, and transforms into, other animals. I want to amaze audiences with the manipulation of colour, scale, and movement. The animals will be in an array of vivid colours, and the background will be blank, in order to place the animals directly onto the surface of the buildings.
The animation will begin as a small mouse, appearing to scurry over the bricks and window ledges. Being a small animal to begin with, means that those who spot it will have an enhanced feeling of discovery. A cat will then appear stalking the mouse before it pounces and swallows the mouse whole, the cat becoming the next focal character. The cat then jumps from ledge to ledge, and prowls along the bottom of the wall, walking away a short distance with the idea that the audience will follow it. Hissing and raising its heckles it will then transform into a wolfish dog that barks and howls. There is a possibility that sound effects or music may accompany the story, but the main focus is on the coloured lights and depiction of animals.
Playing with size and scale, the audience will be made to look up high, and low down, up close, and further back. The animals become more mythical and strange as the piece goes on, evoking feelings of wonder and amazement. The audience continue to progress down the street watching the projections change from animal to animal, changing colour each time. The audience will feel as though they are being taken on a journey into the realm of myths and legends.
The order of the animals can be changed to match the location and surroundings of the street. The idea is to unite the virtual animals with the existing features of the buildings, giving them a real and solid setting which will make the illusion more magical.
The story will reach a climax with a griffin, centaur, mermaid, and finally a huge dragon. There is a burst of red fire and the dragon appears. To create a sense of enormous scale, the audience will see the flames, a whip of its tail, its wings and then the whole dragon. The dragon fills the space, breathing colourful fire before disappearing into a huge cloud of smoke which gradually clears and settles, indicating the end of the projections.
The piece will be about ten minutes long. At three minutes into the story, the mouse projection will automatically start again, enticing a new group of viewers down the street. This will be beneficial in keeping the public in staggered groups and avoiding crowding.