Three enterprising Lighting Design students have had a piece of their original work featured at the Vivid Festival in Sydney, Australia. Jaz Hewitt, Willow Bleasdale and Matt Wright debuted the interactive light installation Evolution at the prominent eighteen day winter festival, which annually features immersive light installations, music performances and public talks and debates from leading creative thinkers in the shadow of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The close-knit team combined specialisations ranging from hand-held lighting effects and Arduino control systems, through theatrical lighting design, and up to large-scale outdoor architectural lighting- and all three share a passion for creating educational and entertaining installations.
This marked the second time that Jaz Hewitt had attended the Vivid Festival, having previously won a competition to attend in 2013. Her enthusiasm for the event drew the participation of the others, each bringing their individual skills, contacts and innovation to the creation of Evolution.
Matt Wright, whose grounding in theatre lighting design has seen him secure two high profile, final year placements at architectural lighting design practices, was largely responsible for the theme of the piece: how much electricity does it take to make light using old and new technologies? His contacts also helped the team to secure sponsorships for the project from light bulb manufacturers.
Willow Bleasdale, with a focus on technical and electronic fabrication and a fascination for making “props that light up” was largely responsible for Evolution’s aesthetics.
Evolution showcased the changes undergone by the humble household light bulb over the last hundred years. The display featured a giant light bulb which enveloped a spiral filament made up of thirty-two individual lamps. At one end of the filament, energy was wasted through the warm tungsten filaments of yesteryear; at the other end, visitors to the exhibition could experience the cool white efficiency of the latest LED’s.
The design and construction of Evolution spanned two continents, with the prototype of the interior and the control systems designed in London, whilst the polycarbonate structure of the exhibit was made locally in Australia and delivered to the site in Sydney to await the students’ arrival.
Central’s Senior Lecturer in Design for Performance, Nick Moran, said of the project “The whole thing has been very exciting for the three students directly involved, and it has caught the imagination of the rest of the lighting design cohort. Who knows what Central students might manage to achieve for next year’s festival!”