Shifting Horizons permanent photographic installation
ART DIRECTION AND DESIGN
Theatre Orchard bring inspiring, professional live performance to indoor and outdoor settings across North Somerset. They were commissioned by the developers of the new Dolphin Square leisure complex in Weston-super-Mare to propose a creative solution to the stark, three-storey entry foyer for the Cineworld multiplex cinema, Anytime Fitness 24-hr gym and the Clip n' Climb climbing centre.
As the west-facing wall is made entirely of glass and the internal walls painted white, this presented a dramatic opportunity to showcase some of the best in local talent and landscapes.
Paul Blakemore is a freelance arts and performance photographer living and working in Weston. He was approached by Theatre Orchard to help develop their proposition.
Shortly after their conversation began, I was introduced to consult on artistic direction and designing the 3D, experiential space.
Working closely with Paul, we shortlisted from literally hundreds of his fantastic images of local performers demonstrating their talents and sharing their stories amid Westonian vistas, both dramatic and quaint. We finally settled on eight: six for mounting behind acrylic and two for covering most of one wall as full-bleed, high tack vinyl.
I then devised a colour scheme, typographic treatment and thematic, wayfinding illustration after several field trips around the town and along the bay, research in the fantastic Weston Museum and reflecting on the installation's title and the world class sunsets that we experience here.
Normally a stickler for Swiss-precise typography layout and design, I tore up the rule book and deliberately anti-kerned the installation's wordmarque as a play on the words Shifting Horizons.
The project required a very steep learning curve from me as my experience in large-format printing, while existent, was minimal. Luckily, I benefitted from a close working relationship with our specialist print house, WithPrint. In addition to artworked files to their detailed specification, I prepared an installation guide with detailed annotations to the architectural drawing used in the construction of the building.
In addition to the high-tack vinyl artwork and mounted, acrylic photography, I produced all printed and online marketing collateral, such as a takeaway leaflet, complimentary postcards of the photography, and invitations.
The installation was launched mid-July 2019 with drinks, performances, appearances of the features artists as well as curious cinema goers taking a moment to peruse the new-look entrance on their way to see Spiderman.