Shining Bright

By Paul Gibbins

Royal William Yard's Illuminate Festival 2017 Plymouth Mayflower400. Photo Credit Paul Gibbins

Photo Credit Paul Gibbins

Illuminate, an event marking the anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, took over Plymouth’s historic Royal William Yard for 2017. From 24-26 November, the former victualling yard was lit up with light installations, immersive visual art and light projections, all linked to the Barbican through the travelling of light.

Royal William Yard was illuminated by design, art and inspiration inspired by the values of Mayflower 400: freedom, humanity, imagination and future. Emily Handslip, Director of Urban Splash said: “The festive season at The Yard is one of the most magical and important times of the year, so we were delighted to be working with Plymouth City Council to celebrate this incredible festival of light. Our amazing buildings at Royal William Yard provided the perfect backdrop for the Illuminate light art and we hope everyone visiting The Yard during this event had a fantastic time.”

Throughout the weekend, Illuminate combined workshops, installations, performance and projections; offering various opportunities for families and children to take part in activities or simply to wonder at the incredible illuminations lighting up the former naval victualling yard.

Charles Hackett, Chief Executive of Mayflower 400 said: “Illuminate is one of the milestone international events in the Mayflower calendar and we were really excited to see this year’s event grow and develop into a light festival across multiple days. Our vision is that Illuminate combines community participation with artist exhibition. We aim to build Illuminate year on year to create a signature event that not only forms a signature part of the Mayflower 400 programme, but also has the strength and legacy to continue well beyond 2020. To see Illuminate grow and take on a new location for this year is very positive and I look forward to seeing the event encompass more areas of the city in future years.”

Photo Credit Paul Gibbins

Photo Credit Paul Gibbins

Photo Credit Paul Gibbins

Photo Credit Paul Gibbins

The Light projections were designed and mapped by The Media Workshop and Plymouth College of Art, who as part of the European funded project Euranim, worked internationally in collaboration with animation students from across France, Belgium, Hungary, Denmark and Finland.

Light Art installations and visual pieces also formed part of the event, created by the staff and students from the University of Plymouth’s School of Art, Design and Architecture. Professor Chris Bennewith who was formerly the Creative Director for Wellington’s LUX Light Festival in New Zealand, and has worked both in the UK and internationally on major light events led the project.

Professor Chris Bennewith, who is now Head of School Art, Design and Architecture of University of Plymouth said: “Light Festivals around the world create wonderfully vibrant and social events for cities and their citizens to enjoy. They are a fantastic display of a city’s creativity and a great, fun, family event that gives people something to look forward to during the dark winter months. We were excited to be able to show off some of the region’s excellent creative talent, something to be really proud of!”

If you want to see some of the incredible images from the night you can see more images by Paul Gibbins Photography here or visit the album by Mayflower400UK here.

Photo Credit Paul Gibbins

Photo Credit Paul Gibbins