JHAV supply a large team to support the event during the festival, but also support the planning, design and evaluation phases. We have extensive experience of working in and around heritage and listed buildings. We’re also used to working in conjunction with government partners like the Highways Agency and the HSE for access permissions and safety aspects of installations.
Site Planning and Evaluation
We start by identifying locations, permissions and designing the visitor journey, carefully crafting the audience experience. JHAV and Illuminate work with a broad mix of professional artists, students and emerging artists, assessing their submissions artistically and financially. We pair successful artist submissions with locations that are best suited to their pieces and the experience they want to create.
Artistic Site Design
One of the key pieces of work for JHAV is the site’s overall lighting design. This involves planning all the site safety lighting and architectural lighting of key buildings and audience areas. We also handle more mundane elements such as lighting for signage and emergency exits. Our technicians work hard to creatively activate spaces such as walk throughs, archways, tree lines and large buildings. This forces the audience to take a new, fresh look at familiar spaces.
In a corporate event, your AV projector would be pointed at a flat white screen. Not so at Illuminate – walls, floors, ceilings, staircases and towers are fair game for this project! JHAV work with the Illuminate team to plan all projection mapping elements of the installations. This work includes a full costing of all production elements, any specific artist requirements and the sourcing of technical and site infrastructure to support the artwork.
Just as important as the delivery of Illuminate is an evaluation of each year’s show. Were all of the artists happy with their time at the festival? Were the budgets accurate? Did anything unexpected happen, and if so how was it dealt with? These questions are of critical importance to ensure Illuminate continues to grow and maintain its reputation as a week of high quality art and outreach. We account for every penny of budget within our control, whether that’s hundreds of pounds for additional infrastructure for an artwork, or a couple of new batteries for an artist’s remote control!
In addition to budgetary accountability, we liaise post-event with Plymouth’s Safety Advisory Group. We also debrief with national organisations such as the HSE and highways agency. Supplying feedback in both directions means that every visitor to the event has a safe and satisfying experience, while the residents of Plymouth who just want an early night remain undisturbed!
Illuminate Festival of Light 2019 Key Facts
- More than 40,000 attendees over the 5 show days
- The main site at Royal William Yard is a multi-use development of shops, residential, commercial and public space, which has the highest density of grade 1 listed buildings in Europe
- In 2019, additional satellite sites were included at the Barbican and Mount Edgcumbe House – all still supported entirely by the core JHAV team
- More than 30 specific artist installations were budgeted, designed, installed, operated, and then removed, in addition to all site infrastructure, signage, lighting, and management
- Over 5 days, a team of 14 technicians installed more than 400 lighting fixtures, 100 loudspeakers, 30 projectors, and more than 7,000 metres of cabling
Create a light festival for Plymouth that will be talked about for years to come - JHAV have exceeded our expectations year upon year.