Glasgow City Chambers became a giant 75 metre wide by 25 metre high projection surface for “Burns Illuminated”, a show specially created to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most famous poet. The Projection Studio supplied projection equipment and expertise for the event, which was staged by Glasgow City Council. The artwork was produced by Ross Ashton, whose work was already known to the Council. Burns Illuminated’s project manager, John Toffolo, commissioned Ashton to create a projection show for the George Square site telling the story and massive cultural legacy of Burns’ short life.
The 15 minute looped show was accompanied by a soundscape compiled by Karen Monid, with whom Ashton worked closely. It’s the first time that the City Chambers has been projected onto on such a large scale. Four PIGI 6kW projectors with double rotating scrollers The projectors were all housed in custom constructed and fully weatherised hides. This layout enabled the central section of the building – obscured by the war memorial – to be illuminated by crossing over the beams of the closer projectors. The PIGIs were loaded with approximately 20 metres of images which were all keystone corrected. E/T/C’s powerful OnlyCue control system was operated by Karen Monid to program and run the show.
The show was a massive success. Word soon spread about the projections and up to 10,000 people packed into George Square on Sunday for the special Burns Illuminated event, which included additional entertainment and fireworks. Deputy Lord Provost Allan Stewart, leader of the city’s lighting strategy, said: “It was very important that Glasgow recognised the 250th anniversary of one of Scotland’s greatest sons. Ashton comments, “This was another amazing project to work on, and it produced some great teamwork by all involved from the conception to the physical delivery.