"Rose", a son et lumière collaboration between projection artist Ross Ashton and sound artist Karen Monid, was the main centrepiece of the 2010 Illuminating York festival of light. Ashton and Monid had an open brief and no shortage of ideas once they decided to concentrate on the rose and its myriad of real and imaginative possibilities. They spent about a month intensively developing the show, which is divided into four sections. Ashton and Monid were commissioned to produce this latest work following their very successful "Accendo" for the 2008 Illuminating York event, which lit the facades of the Yorkshire Museum and Abbey Ruins in York's Museum Gardens.
"Rose" was a 40 metre high artwork that transformed the Minster's famous medieval Rose window and surrounding architecture into a fabulous amalgam of images, ideas, colour and sounds. It was a four-part study encompassing the symbolism of the rose and its relevance to the city's ancient and contemporary history. Ashton's projection system comprised 4 x Pigi 7Kw projectors with double rotating scrollers. The first concentrates on the rose as a symbol of Yorkshire. The second section, “Rose Garden” combined love poetry spoken by local volunteers with images of climbing rose trees. This then led into “Mary”, which combined images of the Virgin Mary with an extract of the York Minster choir. The final part was a study of perfection, both mathematical and tonal as glass sounds accompanied stained glass imagery and geometrical shapes and patterns.
"Rose" was an enormous success, pulling the crowds, generating massive interest in the festival as a whole with lots of positive feedback and also boosting local commerce for the duration.It alone drew in an incredible 65,000 people to York city centre to enjoy the show over 4 days, running for 3 hours each evening in a continuous loop. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu commented, "It was a fantastic piece of art that really made the Minster come alive".