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AniMotion Show Shines at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The latest AniMotion live painting, digital art and music show was presented by Aurora Nova at George Herriot’s School as part of the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The power of original painting created in real-time and projected onto stunning architecture accompanied by live music was a special collaboration between projection artist Ross Ashton, virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and acclaimed visual artist and painter Maria Rud.

The location for this magical outdoor experience – Venue 316 of the Fringe Festival – was the quadrangle at George Herriot’s School. The high impact art was projected onto the side wall, of the beautiful 17th century chapel – which becomes part of the world renowned Festival, famous for showcasing new, innovative and thought-provoking works.

Said Ross, “We are extremely excited to be performing at the Fringe and exceptionally fortunate that Dame Evelyn was also available so that we could all work together on crafting another special and ground-breaking AniMotion work”.

Ross created a projection map for the side of the chapel building which provided the detailed canvas – including all the architectural quirks and nuances which was laid over a lightbox onto which Maria painted live.

The images captured by the camera were fed into a laptop running Millumin, a software originally developed for VJs which can edge blend and map, and which also provides a number of other useful and cool functions that Ross has custom manipulated to produce elements of the AniMotion magic.

The content was fed out to two Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors, beaming a blended 25 metre wide by 18 metre tall projected image of the painting process onto the side of the chapel.

Maria initially experimented with a number of ideas and established which shapes and colours worked best with the dynamics of the building. Then for each performance, the creation of the final eight painted works was entirely improvised – and slightly different – for each show.

The AniMotion concept has been developed by Ross and Maria, an evocative fusion of technical wizardry and highly organic art which is completed with the additional resonance of live music.

For the Edinburgh shows, Dame Evelyn performed a series of modern classics including “Michi” by Keiko Abe and “Prim” by AskellMasson. The music and the rhythmic style and strokes of the painting finding its own distinctive harmony, in turn creating a highly emotional engagement with the audience.

The one hour performance at Edinburgh had a capacity of 300 people.

The projectors were supplied by Alastair Young of War Productions from Edinburgh, the cameras  from Ian White and Progressive Broadcast, and the d&b sound system was delivered by Warehouse Sound, co-ordinated by Ann Sullivan.

Also integral to the production team were Evelyn Glennie’s sound engineer Andy Cotton and RanaldNielson who co-ordinated the video production.

Ross commented, “The fluid nature of the performance is something audiences really seem to embrace. The idea is to eliminate walls between the audience and the creative space, so anyone watching is encouraged to become closer to us via the work process … and as they see and appreciate the mechanics of what we are doing. We want their movements to be as free as possible which ensures that no two shows will ever be the same. The reaction on social media has been a great testament to how effective this approach can be”.

Photos: Ross Ashton