Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Wolverhampton Wanderers - Enchanted City 2013

Oldest Place - Fireworks, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

At the beginning of the month we were busy in Wolverhampton creating our second version of "Enchanted City"  We were commissioned to produce two video installations; one for The University main entrance on Wulfrana street and the second for the side of Barclays Bank building on St Peters Square.
The work was commiosioned by Wolverhampton Council and produced by Robin Morley of Magnetic Events.

This was fantasy piece based on the idea of the university being a generator of ideas.  It was light hearted and fast moving and was fun to make.  We enjoyed creating the flying objects especially nellie the cow.

Flying Cow, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

You can see the video of Generator here.

The Oldest Place
Karen Monid led out on this piece, recording anglo-saxon poetry on the theme of The Garden of Eden.  St Peters Square is the site of the original land which Lady Wulfrun donated to found a monastery.  

Fantasy Foliage, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

You can see the video of The Oldest Place here.

The public reaction to the entire Enchanted Town project was overwhelmingly positive and we thank the people of Wolverhampton for being so welcoming.
Hopefully we'll be back soon.

Triquetra - The story of three Viking Kings for Illuminating York 2013

Viking Shield Wall, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.
You can see the full video here. 

What can we say about York? We are always so happy to back and be allowed to create work in this fantastic city.  I will admit to being biased. I am a Yorkshireman after all, so its a privilege to have worked here so often.

Triquetra was the third work that Karen Monid and I have created here. The first was Accendo in 2008 and that was followed by Rose in 2010. Each time we have been allowed to choose an iconic part of the architecture of York to work with.

This time we really wanted to create something different. We have projected onto landscapes before, but its not often that we would have the opportunity to project onto landscape and architecture, especially not in an urban setting. This is what we found special about choosing the site of Clifford's Tower at the Eye of York as our canvas. 

Standing 25m tall and 75m wide, this is a unique architectural feature in that it is still of a size that can be addressed with a reasonable number of projectors whilst still dominating the space in which it stands.

The Midgard Serpent, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

The history behind Triquetra is best read on Karen's blog (see links below), and I wont repeat it all here, except to say that it talks of three Viking Kings, Harald Bluetooth, Sweyn Forkbeard and Cnut the Great and their dynastic journey from being pagan kings of Denmark to being Christian kings of a mini empire and early kings of all England.  

On the way we illustrated in sound and image: 
The creation of the world from the Viking perspective.
The destruction of Lindisfarne.
The invasion of England.
The letter from King Cnut to his people from the York Gospels.
Karens Triquetra history blog entries: Part 1 : Part 2

Triquetra logo 2, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Karen and I would like to thank:
Sang, Thierry and Steve at The Projection Studio
Richard and QED for projection equipment
Tom Vickers AVLS for sound equipment
Ben Pugh for his support throughout
and of course Illuminating York for commissioning this work.

York Press

Monday, 23 September 2013

AniMotion website has gone live!

Following on from the success of our collaboration at the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy we are planning our next event. Maria & I very much enjoyed our collaboration and we will work together again in December at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Dates and ticket details to follow.

We have also launched a website to talk about all things AniMotion. 
You can find it at
Also, you can follow us on twitter @animotionart

Saturday, 14 September 2013

“Dark Matter” - World First AniMotion Video Mapping Artwork

13th September 2013

Venue: Cambridge University Institute of Astronomy

Maria Rud at work, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Last night saw the launch of a new artistic collaboration between Fine Artist Maria Rud and Projection Artist Ross Ashton. Together they have collaborated to bring together painting, music and projection mapping into one live experience.

Animotion - Syrinx, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Dark Matter - A time lapse condensed version of the AniMotion process. from Ross Ashton on Vimeo.

Maria Rud has been working on a project that she calls ‘AniMotion’, for some time. This gives the audience the experience of watching an artwork being developed and created in front of their eyes as Maria interacts with a live music performance.

Animotion - Sound of Sleat, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

In collaboration with Ross Ashton, AniMotion has now been taken to a new level.  Ross has created a method of mapping the artist’s work directly to the architecture. This allows Maria to create in three dimensions, directly onto the building. She is free to reinterpret the architecture in real time using traditional painting methods.

Animotion - Sound of Sleat, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Maria Rud said, ‘By uniting music and painting through the art of projection, AniMotion immerses audiences in a world of transcendence.  By dissolving boundaries between art forms you reveal a whole new world and a new art form.’

Maria Rud and musicians at work, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

The use of live music as part of the process adds to the spectacular nature of the piece. For the work in Cambridge, Maria collaborated with three musicians based in Edinburgh, Dave Heath, Fay Fife and DJ Dolphin Boy. They composed three pieces of music for ‘Dark Matter’. ‘An Improvisation on Debussy’s Syrinx’ (Heath), ‘The Sound of Sleat’ (Fife/Levy), and ‘Dark Matter’ (Fife/ Heath/Levy)

Animotion - Dark Matter, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

 ‘This was a very exciting process for to work through.” says Ashton. ‘As soon as we started to discuss it, I knew that I could make this collaboration work and give Maria the freedom she needed to create her art. It has been very satisfying intellectually. I think that the results speak for themselves. Nothing is hidden.  The audience are encouraged to watch the painter as she develops and redevelops the work.’

Ross Ashton & Maria Rud

NOTE: These works were presented as part of the launch of the e-Luminate festival which will be held in February 2014.

Maria Rud is a fine artist and painter.
Ross Ashton is a Guinness World Record holding projection artists and designer.
David Heath is a composer and flautist who works internationally.
Fay Fife fronts The Rezillos as lead singer.
DJ Dolphin Boy has been a part of the Edinburgh music scene for over 20 years.

Panasonic UK. Projection and cameras.
Anagram. Sound, power and logistics.

Friday, 30 August 2013


A “son et lumiere” artwork inspired by three Viking kings.

Clifford's Tower - York

Thank you for your interest in this project.

We are Ross Ashton and Karen Monid and we have been commissioned by Illuminating York 2013 to create an original artwork for this lighting festival, which takes place from the 30th October to the 2nd November this year.

We work in projected image and sound to create our works.  Our pieces are site specific and are inspired by the buildings and history of the sites at which we work and their relationship with the people that live and have lived there.
We use as much original imagery, documents and scripts as we can to produce our work.
Take a look here to see some of our previous works.

We are looking for volunteers who can be recorded either in York or London, or are willing and able to record themselves, who are speakers of and read Old Norse and/or Old English. We’re aware that Icelandic people are able to also read Old Norse, so Icelandic speakers are also very welcome! We will use sentences in these languages and in modern English to build up the layers of sound that will create this sound-world and will inform the images that will be projected.

If you are interested in taking part and can spare a short time to read a few sentences in these ancient languages and in modern English then do please email us here!
Once you get in touch with us, we will open a direct line of communication with all volunteers so they have more details about the final project.
We do not have a date set yet for the recording sessions but it will be around 2 weeks from now.

Please contact Ross Ashton by email:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

e-Luminate Festival 2014 - Call for Technical Partners and Artists

"Energy, Growth, Movement" by Susie Olczak, 2013
Photo courtesy Oliver Cross
--> Are you interested in showcasing your technology or products in a new and exciting way?  Or are you an artist with an interest in technology and the cross-over between art and science? The 2014 e-Luminate Festival is the UK’s first event designed to showcase the imaginative and inspirational potential of new art created using low carbon/energy efficient technology  - is looking for more technical sponsors for its 2104 event.
This will be staged between the 12th and 23rd of February 2014 in Cambridge, UK. In its second year, e-Luminate is now under the Artistic Direction of projection specialist Ross Ashton, known for his work worldwide and his expertise in producing specular public art works.

It has also just been confirmed that leading entertainment technology brands Panasonic and Pulsar have come on-board.

e-Luminate provides a completely unique opportunity for brands, manufacturers and distributors to highlight all sorts of sound, lighting and video hardware and software products and enables artists to use these in new, exciting and inventive ways.

I am delighted that Panasonic and Pulsar have committed to supporting the event. I think that have companies of this calibre on-board already is a great testament to the importance of the Festival and its ambitions.

Cambridge based Pulsar have been instrumental in popularising the use of LED technology in the entertainment and architainment sectors with the development of their ground-breaking Chroma range of LED fixtures. Pulsar featured heavily in the first e-luminate last year and are keen to be involved in their home town again this year.

Panasonic are also embracing the need to produce genuinely greener technology and now offer several ranges of smaller, and more eco-friendly projectors that are expedient on power consumption, yet with no compromise on the brightness front.

Interactive lighting control specialists amBX are sponsoring e-Luminate for the second year running following a great response from their enthusiastic participation last year’s inaugural event.

I also want to find a moving light sponsor. Most moving light brands have at least one LED range and this is an ideal chance for these to be utilised in a completely different and very cool way with stunning results. However,I see this festival to be about more than just lighting.  For example amBX are software specialists and many musical compositions take the theme of light as their inspiration. We are very keen to create works using audio and software solutions and are actively seeking companies which would like to showcase their products in a new artistic environment.

It’s the intention of e-Luminate to team artists up with technology partners enabling them to create a series of vibrant installations which can be enjoyed by the public for the duration of the festival. Artworks will be created on a range of scales from the monumental to the small, with art sited across the city and in the public domain.

It will also raise awareness of environmental challenges related to lighting and energy use;  encourage people to re-evaluate the role of lighting in their day-to-day living as well as for entertainment and fun and emphasise the links between technology and creativity.

Several levels of sponsorship are available.

The call for Artists to take part in e-Luminate Cambridge is open until August 15th.
For more information on sponsorship, please check or call/email Ross Ashton on 020 8293 4270 /
 e-Luminate is a Community Interest Company created to open and sustain dialogue between arts, the community, art and technology and inspire people to adopt more energy saving and genuinely sustainable practices.

The series of fabulous new art installations that will feature at e-Luminate 2014 will be both spectacular and entertaining, showing technology literally ‘in a different light’.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Enchanted Town Festival Concept is Launched in Horncastle

‘Enchanted Town’ is a brand new creative concept uniting ideas, local culture and history, music, street theatre, live performance, digital arts and cutting edge  technology in a fun, open and accessible presentation … aimed at engaging all levels of public in a vibrant and fun environment.

The first pilot event was staged last weekend at Horncastle, Lincolnshire, proving a massive success and pulling 4,000 visitors into the town centre for the evening, boosting local businesses and creating a brilliant vibe. Even the weather got into the mood!
Enchanted Town is the brainchild of an innovative collaboration between leading outdoor arts Producer and Festival Director Robin Morley from Magnetic Events, internationally renowned large format projection and digital artist Ross Ashton and ground-breaking sound artist and audio designer Karen Monid.

The event was presented by East Lindsey District Council working with the Horncastle Festivals Committee. It was also the opening event of the SO Festival, 10 days of shows, events and culture taking place across East Lindsey, funded by East Lindsey District Council, Arts Council England and Centrica Energy.
Morley, Ashton and Monid have previously worked together on a number of projects, including the very popular ‘Enchanted Parks’, an annual public art event taking place in Saltwell Park in Gateshead since 2007, produced by Morley and presented by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Gateshead Council.
This comprises a number of commissioned temporary public art works – for which Ashton and Monid have produced signature pieces - involving unique projections and immersive soundscapes encompassing local elements and themes. It attracted up to 35,000 people over 5 days in December 2012.

The idea behind ‘Enchanted Town’ or Enchanted City’ is that it can be transposed to any location.
With the aid of visual magic, interactive street theatre and any number of other activities – including contributions from local artists including a video film group - it will pull both visitors and business into an urban setting, enriching the location by allowing all to enjoy the surroundings and be entertained in imaginative, new and different ways.
The centrepiece of the Horncastle Enchanted Town event was two large format video projections works created specially by Ashton, complete with bespoke soundtracks from Monid, which took their starting points from some well-known local personalities – primarily the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson and botanist Sir Joseph Banks.

The first, ‘Spiritus – Ring Out Wild Bells’ was projected onto the bell tower of St Mary’s Church.
 The stunning 14 metres high by 8 metres wide images were beamed from a doubled up pair of Barco CLM HD8 projectors rigged in portrait format and installed in a specially constructed tower.
When creating the images, Ashton took the splendid wooden angels holding up the church roof as his visual starting point, and created an animated story around them, which played out on an 8 minute loop.
Tennyson’s ‘The Wild Bells’ was first published in 1850, the year he was appointed Poet Laureate. Monid’s compelling and beautiful soundtrack used quotations and passages from the poem together with other elements.
The second projected work “The Magical Spying Glass” utilised the Banks Building as its canvass. The building is named after naturalist and botanist Sir Joseph Banks, born in Lincolnshire, who accompanied Captain James Cook’s first great voyage to the Southern Seas (1768-1771).

Ashton’s eye-catching content unfolded a fantasy tale inspired by that voyage, with Banks starting off as the Great South Sea Caterpillar. It also incorporated legendary sea monster, the Kraken (the subject of an irregular sonnet by Tennyson). Artwork was based on some of Banks’ botanical drawings taken from the Cook voyage together with various cartoons and caricatures of Banks by 18th century satirist, James Gillray – among other materials.
In the 3.5 minute projected movie, Banks was transformed from the caterpillar into a South Sea butterfly and flitted around a garden composed from his own drawings, ending up in New Zealand, where he went underwater and came face-to-face with the Kraken! This gave Ashton plenty of leeway to create a colourful and amusing allegory.
The single Panasonic EX12 projector was located in the Travis Perkins showroom about 25 metres way, which was the optimum position to make up the 13 metre wide image.
Monid again composed an intricate and fun soundtrack which added to the drama and sense of spectacle, enthralling onlookers.
The projection and sound equipment for both installations was supplied by locally based Enigma Effects.
Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at East Lindsey District Council, Councillor Adam Grist, commented that they were “Absolutely delighted” with the response. “To see so many people in the town centre enjoying the acts and illuminations and supporting local businesses was wonderful”.

Robin Morley said “The response exceeded our expectations in terms of visitor numbers for the first Enchanted Town event”.
“It was a real pleasure to work with Ross and Karen again who are absolutely at the top of their game, and having international artists of their calibre involved certainly boosted the success of the whole project and in creating a truly magical event”.
Ross Ashton stated, “We really enjoyed working in Horncastle – the setting is fabulous and it proves that you can hold events like this in the UK - at any time of the year - and people will come out and enjoy”.
Robin Morley concludes that they are already being asked to consider ideas for next year’s Horncastle Enchanted Town.