10th March 2016

Academy Students Bring Iconic Buildings to Life

Students of Wakefield’s Backstage Academy put on one hell of a show for locals recently as they overcame an ambitious brief to produce some outstanding work at a handful of the cities most iconic locations.

The project, which saw Visual Production students use projection mapping to showcase original concepts ranging from the liberation of Banksy street art to the history of Wakefield Cathedral, was a huge success and provided audiences with a stunning show.

Lecturer Shannon Harvey, who also happens to be one of the world’s leading consultants in the field of live projection mapping, said; “As ever, our students tackled this project head on and came up with a number of unique and high-end products, all of which are absolutely comparable to the work of current industry professionals.”

The students were given just ten days to prepare for the display, and only one hour to set up at each site. They were responsible for all aspects of the event, including negotiating access to the sites, with no assistance from the Academy.

“The fact they were using extremely high-end equipment, some of which they will go on to use in a professional capacity, makes this an even more impressive achievement and provided an even better spectacle.”

One project took audiences to Wakefield Cathedral itself, embossing the gothic cathedral floor with an eight minute epic conveying the three-part journey of the Labryinth story – Purgation, Illumination and Union. The project’s YouTube video gained over 1,300 views inside its first ten days.

“It was an ambitious effort that looked spectacular,” said Harvey, “the fact that it is doing so well on social media pays testament to this.”

This isn’t the first time students of Backstage Academy have produced their work on a grand scale. Last year, first year undergraduates travelled to Prague to work on a project that was mapped onto the Clam-Gallasův palác as part of the British National Exhibition at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. 

“These projects are vital for the growth of our students into the well-rounded industry professionals we graduate on a yearly basis. It was a great trip that showed just how far our students can come even after just one year.”

Videos of both the Prague exhibition and all three of the Wakefield projects can be found here.