Projection artist Ross Ashton of London, UK based The Projection Studio created artwork and designed a large format 3d video projection system for the fabulous "Illuminata" son et Lumière at Caerphilly Castle. The commission was from Cadw - the Welsh Assembly Government division responsible for preserving and promoting the history and heritage of Wales, and it is the first time that an entertainment spectacle of this genre has been commissioned for one of their historical monuments. Ashton's 20 minute work depicted the history and stories of the castle, accompanied by an audio track produced by sound artist Karen Monid.
Ashton was engaged for the project by Marilyn Lewis, Director of Cadw, following a presentation he gave to interested parties in Wales about the possibilities of 'Illuminating Cities'. 3 Christie HD 18 projectors were used, a double stacked pair covered the Gatehouse, with the third single machine positioned at the end of a long balcony on the building opposite the Main Hall. Original artwork for the show was produced by Ashton and his team of Paul Chatfield and Steve Larkins, together with some 3D animations by Richard Porter. And illustrations from Mike Cooper (of 2000AD/Judge Dredd fame). Karen Monid's sound track was a fusion of sound effects and music sourced from record labels Naxos and Boosey & Hawkes.
For Cadw, "Illuminata" was a spectacular success. Marilyn Lewis said "We wanted to see what this kind of installation could contribute to 21st century heritage interpretation, and we wanted to see whether an evening show would attract a new audience for the castle and the town. The show is a landmark for us, opening up many exciting opportunities for the future." Ashton comments, "This was a brilliant show to work on in an amazing environment, and a great chance to collaborate and bring the location alive through a mixed media experience that was accessible, expressive and fun as well as requiring real audience engagement".