Next generation of artists take the lead in illuminate Plymouth 2018  


Students from across the city will take the lead in the spectacular upcoming light festival, Illuminate, which returns to the Royal William Yard on the 22 to 25 November 2018. The festival offers visitors an immersive experience, with projections, light installations and interactive performance opportunities set out across the Yard.


With this year’s festival set to be even bigger and better, Plymouth College of Art, University of Plymouth and City College Plymouth students have spent the past month designing and constructing light art installations for Illuminate 2018.

Nearly fifty BA (Hons) Animation, BA (Hons) Game Arts and BA (Hons) Digital Media Production students from Plymouth College of Art will put their video-mapping skills into action on a large scale, on the side of Royal William Yard’s Melville Building, working with additional guidance from recent BA (Hons) Animation graduate Jamie Knight. Jamie now specialises in animation and projection-mapping. Influenced by disruptive street art and dark satire, his new piece for Illuminate 2018, ‘Kill Your TV’, uses sardonic humour and absurdity in a grungy complication of imaginative animated sequences.  

Second-year BA (Hons) Animation student Char Wolf, age 19 from Plymouth, said: “The opportunity to create something for Illuminate has been very exciting. I drew inspiration from footage on YouTube of a video-mapping project in Germany, which used light to break up a massive building, and I used that as a starting point to create futuristic imagery to bring the Melville Building to life. Before working on this project, I wanted to specialise in character animations, but now I’m definitely considering a career in video-mapping.”  

University of Plymouth BA (Hons) Fine Art students have also leapt at the opportunity to get involved in this year’s festival. Students Eliza Newman, Jaydan Alexander and Bethany Thomas will all showcase their own individual installations, on display in Ocean Studios. When speaking about her piece for Illuminate, ‘Our Journey’, Eliza said: “Our Journey is about gaining new ideas and becoming more open to and aware of every-day experiences and how they may differ on a sensory level from person to person. Each viewer will experience the work in a unique way due to the sounds and visual elements prompting their own personal experiences, memories and imagination.”  


Students from City College Plymouth’s Live Events Production programme are also heavily involved with the festival, alongside the production team they will be providing behind the scenes technical support to local and international artists exhibiting at Illuminate.  

City College Plymouth’s Lecturer in Event Production, Nolan Pearce, said “work experience is a key component of 16 to 19 study programmes and all students are expected to undertake work experience or some form of work-related training while they are studying on the Live Events Production course. This particular activity offers a substantially challenging work placement for the students and provides a clear line of sight into the industry.”

City College Plymouth dance students are also included in the Illuminate lineup, working with the Barbican Theatre they will be performing alongside other dance schools to a piece especially choreographed by Avant Garde Dance Company and the Fuse dance practitioners.

Illuminate project manager Claire Honey, from the Real Ideas Organisation, said: “It is fantastic to see so many students from different institutions across Plymouth want to get involved in this year’s festival. Illuminate is committed to supporting the next generation of artists in Plymouth, and to help the creative industries grow.”