Durham Lumiere 2015 ‘World Machine’
Projection artist Ross Ashton and The Projection Studio produced another spectacular work “The World Machine” onto Durham Cathedral in the UK for the 2015 Durham Lumiere light festival which attracted upwards of 200,000 people to the city over four nights of amazing light installations. The projection system involved 14 Christie 20K machines which were positioned on a series of custom towers and hides strategically located around the perimeter of the Cathedral. This was carefully calculated to ensure that all the front facing walls and their various return surfaces were evenly lit. d3 was chosen for control, for its flexibility and superior blending and mapping qualities. The show was 3D modelled in the d3 system enabling a detailed and complete wrap of the building to be produced. A designated UNESCO heritage site completed in 1096, it is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the world.
Says Ross, “It was a complete privilege to be invited back to Durham Lumiere by the festival’s curators, Artichoke and fantastic to work with everyone at the Cathedral together with eminent astronomers and historians from Durham University. The research required to create this work was exciting and fascinating … it was absolutely my ‘Dream Project’.” “It was an incredible process and I had the chance to work with some truly amazing, highly talented and inspiring people.” These included cosmologist Carlos Frenk, the Ogden Professor of Fundamental Physics and a world renowned authority, Giles Gasper, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, both from Durham University and Doctor Jane Gunning, Imaging Services Officer at Durham Cathedral.
“It was all absolutely fascinating” reiterates Ross, “I am really grateful for all the time and effort people gave up to help me produce a truly unique and special show.” Ross adds that the greatest pleasure of all was to be able to bring to life and share all of this with so many people who came to watch the show which ran to a special soundtrack written by award winning film, TV and theatre composer Isobel Waller-Bridge. Ross worked closely with Projection Studio’s Sang Gun Kim, who led the team compiling all the 3D motion graphics and imaging making up the show content. The projectors, control and hardware was supplied by QED and co-ordinated by Dan Gray who also programmed and operated the d3. A fabulous sound design was created by John del Nero working with Sebastian Frost.

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