Projection artist Ross Ashton from The Projection Studio was commissioned to create 3 special art works for the 2009 St Andrews Festival, a 3-day event designed to celebrate the rich history and culture of St Andrews, home of the Scottish Patron Saint. This was staged amidst the beautiful environs of the town of St Andrews on the last weekend in November. Ashton had produced a small piece for last year's Festival, after which he was asked back by event organiser Rob Murray-Brown to do a piece specifically about St Andrews, to be staged in the city. The sites were chosen by Rob Murray-Brown in consultation with Ross Ashton, The University of St Andrews and Historic Scotland.
Two of the 3 projections were at the ruined Cathedral of St Andrews. Ashton projected giant moving images onto the altar area and one on the cloister walls. The third site was in St Mary's Quadrangle, part of St Andrews' famous university . Ashton came up with a trio of separate but related storyboards for the 3 different locations, which were all completely different shapes and sizes. "Via Caeli" (By Way of Heaven). "Via Maris" (By Way of the Sea) The St Mary's Quadrangle piece was called "Origin" Karen Monid also created soundscapes for the St Mary's and Cloister projections, adding another experiential dimension for viewers.
The haunting and dramatically beautiful location of the Cathedral on top of a cliff overlooking the sea also immediately lent itself to some powerful imagery involving the surrounding environment. St Andrew was apparently also a fisherman, so the artwork wove together the many elements of myths, life on the sea, religion and the city as a place of pilgrimage. Ashton concludes, "It was a great privilege to be asked to work on this project to honour Scotland's Patron Saint in such an amazing location. There were many technical and imaginative challenges in producing an engaging, informative and fun show".