[DRIFT] -Festival of Light 2005

Multimedia installation and artist training for real project.

[drift], was an installation using video projection and lighting onto Woodend Museum in Scarborough which took place during December 2005.

It was a Training for Real project conceived by Pete Massey of Create, and Rick Faulkner from Chrysalis Arts, as part of the Scarborough 'Festival of Light'.

The concept of Training for Real is to give the opportunity to a group of professional artists the experience of producing public art to a brief with a deadline with the support and encouragement of mentors.

The process of application and interview through to presentation of work is designed to help artists gain the confidence and experience to broaden their practice and improve their knowledge and understanding of large-scale public work. Having been given the brief of Transformation, the team of artists Rachel Howfield, Rachel Welford, Rachel Antill, Rebecca Stoner, Katie Gill, and Lucy Barker, alongside mentors Jo Millett and Rob Gawthrop, started on the journey to explore the concept and themes and realize their vision in an ambitious piece of work which would transform a familiar Scarborough building into a beautiful and engaging piece of artwork.

After the initial two days of discussion it was conceived that the slightly run down Woodend Natural History Museum that has been earmarked for redevelopment, needed the chance and the space to breathe.

Originally the home of the famous literary family the Sitwells, the museum has passed through many changes and was now on the cusp of another major change that would see it converted to a creative industries centre. The artists involved sensed that the building had reached a hiatus in its life; Gone were the glory days of a place where great literary works were conceived, the heyday of it’s life as a natural history museum had passed, and it was now waiting for its' next incarnation.

Scarborough itself, known as a ‘Sleeping Beauty’, is embarking on an ambitious regeneration programme, which will see arts and culture rather than donkeys and stag nights come to define the town. The Woodend Creative Industries Centre is a key component of this change.

The concept of [drift] emerged as a project using the sea to link past, present, and future with its cyclical nature echoing the ongoing changes at the Woodend Museum and of Scarborough.

The allocated two weeks contained a combination of artistic development, project management, filming techniques, research, the use of technical support, communication skills, workshops with fire and light, site assessment, and health and safety, culminating in the delivery of three interlinked large scale projections, and theatrically-lit facades.

The sound and projections produced a spectacle of eerily mesmeric beauty, as water washed over and through the building, with glimpses of historic context, which engaged and enthralled an audience that spent considerable time pondering its content.

The event can only be said to have been a resounding success thanks to the immense hard work, professionalism, and good nature of all those concerned who worked as a focused unit from day one. It is hoped that given its success a possible second piece of work may be created for a similar event once the Museum has undergone renovations.

The project was jointly produced by Chrysalis Arts and Create.

Funding came from the European Regional Development Fund, Arts Council England and Scarborough Borough Council.

Text Credit: Chrysalis Arts