Sunday, 20 December 2009

Cambridge 800 - New York - Opening S

I have just returned from New York. After the success of the 'Cambridge 800' projection, I was asked to create a new version for the celebration of the 800th anniversary by Cambridge in America. This was a new version designed to be projected onto two walls of the Gotham Ballroom.
Each image is around 20m wide by 6m tall.

The evening itself was fantastic, hosted by Sir David Frost with Stephen Fry as the guest speaker. Both of these men are renowned for their wit, and they certainly lived up to their reputations.

Cambridge 800 - New York - Motto

Friday, 27 November 2009

St Andrews Window - St Andrews Cathedral

The final rehearsals for the St Andrews Festival son et lumieres are taking place tonight. Two of these are being held within the grounds of St Andrew's Cathedral on the headland above the old fishing port. The ambition is to turn this into a regular event that will be bigger each year. The weather has much improved from the install day with its 70 mph gales and driving rain. Now the skys are dry and clear, which means that it is cold but perfect 'son et lumiere' weather. The pieces will run constantly from 5 till 8 pm from the 28th to the 30 November

St Andrews Festival

Chi Rho - St Andrews Cathedral

Pictish Fish - St Andrews Cathedral

Pictish Symbology 2 - St Andrews Cathedral

Base Camp St Andrews

Base Camp St Andrews, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Preparations continue for the son et lumieres in St Andrews. The accommodation leaves something to be desired, however the tea making facilities are excellent.

The three projection pieces go live on Saturday night.

Monday, 16 November 2009

St Andrew's Cathedral - Altar

At the end of November I have been given the opportunity to carry out three Son et Lumiere simultaneously in the town of St Andrews, Scotland.
One will be a repeat of the 'Origins' piece I created last year which will be held at St Mary's Quad. The other two are brand new and will be held at St Andrew's Cathedral, the ruins of which stand above the sea on a headland. This is a magnificent site.

The two son et lumieres are companion pieces and are called "Via Maris" and "Via Caeli". ("By Way of the Sea" and "By Way of Heaven". I hope that people will be moved by the site and its history and its place in the lives of the people that live in this magnificent part of the world.

Link to St Andrews Festival Website

St Andrew's Cathedral - Cloister

Crown of Light - Durham Cathedral - Red Gold Texture

On the final night of the Lumiere Festival the estimate for the number of visitors over the four days is 75,000. This far outstripped the estimated numbers of visitors. Bravo Durham for putting on such a brave and innovative event.

You can see press reviews by following these links:


The Guardian

The Scotsman

Friday, 13 November 2009

Crown of Light - Durham Cathedral - Luke's Gospel 1

Crown of Light - Durham Cathedral - Starburst

Crown of Light - Durham Cathedral - John's Gospel

The "Crown of Light" at Durham Cathedral is now live and attracting big crowds. Even the torrential rain has not put the public off. We are having ten thousand visitors a night.

This image shows the Gospel of St John from the Lindisfarne Gospels, which are one of the treasures intimately entwined with the history of Durham and its Cathedral.

This piece was created for the Lumiere festival which has filled the centre of Durham with artworks, mostly based around light. Lumiere is organised by Artichoke.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

"Crown of Light" Preparation at Durham Cathedral

These are the lineup slides being projected onto the architecture at Durham Cathedral as we prepare for the first night on Thursday. I wanted to achieve a 'magic' installation that has no shadows from the many trees in the image area. This poses a problem as to create this I needed six separate projection positions using four different lenses. However, I think that the results justify the effort required. This is part of the Lumiere Festival in Durham from the 12th to the 15th of November 2009. The soundtrack was created by Musical Director Robert Ziegler and Sound Designer John Del'Nero. Crown of light runs every half hour from 1830 to 2200 each night and is free to the public.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Awaiting the Crown of Light

Durham Panorama, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Later in November I have been commissioned to create a piece for the front of Durham Cathedral. This will discuss Durham Cathedrals rich heritage and its place in the history of the region. The Cathedral dominates the town. The event will run from the 12th to the 15th of November and is part of the 'Lumiere' festival.

Durham Cathedral Upper Level

Durham Cathedral Upper Level, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

I got to wander around the upper levels of the cathedral during the photo shoot for my event. This included visiting the corridor where I was told they filmed the 'Fluffy' scene in Harry Potter.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Odin's Projector

Odin's Projector, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Of course it didn't stop raining. I felt sorry for the lighting crew installing the moving light high up on the slopes of Roseberry Topping with a gale blowing. However, the show night was (mostly) fine and clear if cold.

Commissioned by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and organized by Magnetic Events, Odin’s Glow is an ambitious series of arts installations in the small village of Newton-under-Roseberry. Located under Roseberry Topping - which has been lit with moving lights – a whole series of ats installations large and small are strung thropugh the village.

My piece ‘Landscape’ acknowledges the relationship through time between the landscape and language. Our use of language informs how we perceive the landscape. The landscape can shape our language and the way that we think. Roseberry is a transformation of ‘Odins Bjarg’ – Odin’s Hill.

I projected directly onto the landscape. At night it is difficult to judge scale but the images here are 150m wide as they hit the farthest point on the landscape. Odin’s Eye is 120m wide.

Odin's Runes 2

Odin's Runes 2, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Odin's Runes 1

Odin's Runes 1, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Odin's Eye

Odin's Eye, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Odin's Landscape

Today I start the installation of projection for 'Odin's Glow', an art festival in the village of Newton-Under-Roseberry in the North-east of England. The festival takes over the entirety of the village and is ambitious in its scope as different artists create sculpture, live theatre, projection and sound pieces scattered through the different environments of the village.

The village is dominated by 'Roseberry Topping', a hill / mountain that can trace the roots of its name back to the vikings. Roseberry came from Odins Bjarg (Odins Hill).

The weather is fine, lets hope it stays that way.

See the website at Odin's Glow

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Having a lovely time in Rüdesheim

Richard enjoys his dinner 'al fresco' thanks to Zum Grünen Kranz, Rüdesheim.

When our hotel found out the timetable for the event meant that we would not be able to eat a hot meal that night, they very kindly offered to bring dinner to us; even though it meant a three mile drive up a mountain to do it! The manager of Zum Grünen Kranz, Ralf Nagler brought us pork medallions in wine sauce with noodles, with a glass of the local Riesling to wash it down. As it was freezing on the mountain with a stiff wind, this was very very gratefully received. Mr Nagler, you have the thanks of a grateful (and cold) crew.

Germania Meets Europa - Europe

The Statue of Germania - Das Niederwalddenkmal - Rüdesheim - Rhine Valley - Germany.

Germania is transformed into Europa. In her robes of blue and gold she stares out across the landscape of a united Europe whilst the flags of all the member states unfurl before her. The waters of all the rivers of Europe flow out from her, symbolizing a land without borders, and the uniting of the future aspirations of the peoples of Europe.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Germania meets Europa - The Rheinpartie

I was asked by the Rheinpartie to create a site specific projection piece that would reinterpret the statue of Germania into one of international European unity.

I had always had in mind that the statue would stand in water. At the base of the statue is a representation of the River Rhine in a human form. I have taken the Rhine to represent all the great rivers of Europe. As the waters of the river flow past, so the peoples of Europe have moved across the land, creating the landscape forms that we see today. As the streams merge to form rivers and flow onward to the sea, so the histories of the separate nations of Europe though sometimes turbulent, have now come together in unity.

Germania herself is now dressed in the blue and gold robes of Europa. She looks out across a united Europe whilst the flags of all the nations of Europe unfurl before her. The waters of all the rivers of Europe flow out from her carrying the hopes and aspirations of all the united member states into the future.

I commissioned soundscape designer Karen Monid to create the accompanying sound piece based on these ideas. For this piece, she needed to combine Beethoven’s Ode To Joy with this site specific projection in the Rhine Valley that would represent the European Union. She chose to follow the life of a river as the journeying theme. All rivers form part of the Water Cycle, which is a never ending movement of water from ocean to cloud to rain to spring, stream, river and back to ocean again. This also seemed appropriate as water and land know no borders or boundaries and so retain a sense of union.

The sound is not synchronised with the images. I wanted the sound to carry a slightly different message to the images in its cyclic nature.

This piece was created for the 'rheipartie', a series of light and video installations in the Rhine Valley World Heritage Site. The event ran from the 2 to the 4th of October 2009.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

"Germania Meets Europa"

The View - The unload begins.

I have been asked to create a projection artwork for the statue of 'Germania' in the Rhine Valley, Germany. Having driven across four countries yesterday we arrived at Rudesheim am Rhein last night. This morning we began the install of the projectors into their structures. The view here is magnificent. The statue stands on the rim of the valley staring out across the river and the landscape beyond. Four hours saw the projectors installed and then it was just a wait for the power to be run in. For a crew used to working in events, the delivery method for the cable was somewhat unusual, but the professional approach taken by the German power company and the use of the cable laying machine meant that the power was laid down in around 15 minutes.

This projection work is part of the 'Rheinpartie' which will see many buildings illuminated over the weekend. For more info go to

Projection structure part built.

The power arrives.

Germania awaits...

Thursday, 24 September 2009

The Pittsburgh Festival of Lights - Palimpsest

I was invited by The Pittsburgh Festival of Lights to create a piece for this year festival.
The resulting 5 minute work is a visual 'poem' on the theme of man's need and desire to understand the world and environments around him, and to pass on knowledge through the generations. I believe that we all have a need to make sense of the world; and that this is a basic human drive. How do we answer the Big Questions? How do we explain the universe and our place in it?

The Festival already have a PIGI 6KW projector a permanently installed on the roof of the Pittsburgh Opera office building on Penn Street.

It was a great privilege to be asked to contribute to the Festival. The blank canvass gave me plenty of creative scope to produce a work that was visually arresting - to catch people's attention. However, it was also imperative that I offered a communication in which they could actively engage so they stop, watch and think as they follow the story.
A 'Palimpsest' is a manuscript page from a scroll or book that has been scraped off and used again, thereby implying potential layers of information. In the same way man has used the ideas of past generations to build up explanations of his universe, only to reject or remodel them again and again.

This work traces the development of communication from early cave drawings and carvings thorough to hieroglyphics, the discovery of mathematics and calculus, the medieval monasteries which were powerhouses of learning in Europe through to rationalism, then on to binary code and computer languages. Binary has a special significance as a language that no one can speak, but that can be interpreted as something everyone can understand.

This event is on now and runs until the 27th of September.
It is free and open to the public.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Rockestra - Malta - The Rifffs - "Champagne Charlies Ghost"

After posting the write up below, I have started to psot some of the videos that I took that night.

These first two are of The Rifffs, a storming Ska band. This is Champagne Charlies Ghost, a track I had never heard of but, its really good. I was at college in Coventry in the late '70's so Ska was part of the atmosphere at that time. A great track, well played.

Rockestra - Malta - The Rifffs - "Life of Crime"

The Rifffs playing live at the Rockestra Concert in Malta in aid of the MCCF charity.

I wanted to have a very different look from their other piece that night whilst keeping their red / white / black colour scheme.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

'Rockestra' - Malta - The show begins...

Rockestra Ident, originally uploaded by Ross Ashton.

Thanks for coming to look at my blog. This is a new venture for me, but I hope that you find it interesting.
If you are here, I guess you may be interested in large scale, monumental and architectural projection.

I have recently returned from a week in Malta working on the 'Rockestra' concert. This is somewhat different for me as I am know mostly for my outdoor architectural work. This isn't the first time that I have worked on concerts like this, but I do find a blank canvas opens up different possibilities than three dimensional architecture. I was asked by the President of Malta, George Abela to work on this project to raise money for the Malta Community Chest Fund. President Abele is the patron of this charity. I have a long track record of doing large events in Malta starting with working at the launch of the Freeport in 1999 and, most significantly working on the 'Welcome Europe' event in 2004. In all, I have produced seven events there. This was my chance to give something back to a country that has been very good to me.

Music Was My First Love - Brass Machine

Musical Director, Sigmund Mifsud had already chosen and orchestrated a series of rock classics pieces to be played by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. The Rockestra show took place on the 12th September at the MFCC. Ticket sales were expected to be around 3,000 but I am very pleased to say that they sold out at 12,000. This is the largest indoor event ever held in Malta. The evening included pieces by Coldplay, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, The Eagles and John Miles, so had a strong 70’s leaning and I wanted to reflect that in the imagery. The local artists were The Riffs, Jotham Saliba, Claire Caruana, Alex Bezzina, Raquela, Neville Refalo, Daniel Cauchi, Ruben Zahra, Paul Borg Bonaci and DJ Owen.

Deep Purple Medley - 70's Pyramid Power

I was out in Malta with Karen Monid and Richard Porter who made a great team working long hours to make this something special for this charitable event. Excellent work chaps!

See more of my work at:
See many more photos on Flickr at my Photostream: Ross Ashton.

Other Links:

Another Brick In The Wall - Urban Madness