Proud of this new collaboration with English artists Ross Ashton and Karen Monid (The Projection Studio). ‘Northern Lights’ was an ambitious artwork designed to be an immersive experience. Commissioned by the York Minster Fund as the culmination of ‘The Northern Lights Dinner’ fundraiser. Part of a four- year campaign to build an ongoing endowment for the protection and restoration of the Minster’s priceless historic glass.
Ross visual inspiration came from the medieval stained glass itself. This authenticity of image, was accompanied by a richly textured sound-track by Karen. They undertook extensive research before compiling all the visual and sonic materials into a storyboard. The final realised work was divided into three parts, the first two symbolically encompassing physical creation and the end of the world as imagined in those early times. It concluded with the idea of perfection as reflected in the geometry and design of the Minster. Working together with Ross and Karen, we conceptualize all the storyboard into visual pieces, and explored how they could embrace the architectural beauty of the space as a natural canvas for its own progression.
The content design presented several technical challenges. Assembling and coordinating the different tech departments assets, I re-createed a dens laserscan onto a 3d model, then I used reversed UV techniques to be able to produce a new model as base for the designs. The projected images ended up covering the whole 65m x 20m Nave vault, and the 20mx40m high West Wal. The output used 11 blended projectors installation controlled by a Watchout server.
The 10-minute artwork was seen by an audience of 700 at the Northern Lights dinner. This was followed by two days of performances with the Minster being opened to the public at dusk each night. This allowed another 3,300 people to see the artwork. It was hoped that the dinner would raise around a million pounds for the York Minster Fund, and after the success of ‘Northern Lights’, the total was £1.4 million.