Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury, HP18 0JH
11 Nov 2017 – 2 Jan 2018, Wed – Sun, from dusk
Inspired by the architecture, gardens and history of Waddesdon, visitors to this Christmas’s Winter Light contemporary art programme will be dazzled by roaming porcelain animals, dancing musical clocks, fluttering clouds of butterflies and moths, and 18th-century portraits creating a fantastical visual story of Waddesdon using the latest in video projection mapping technologies created by video design students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Magnificent objects from Waddesdon’s collections of furniture, ceramics and paintings have been 3D scanned and transformed into detailed animations by students from the Guildhall School to create a unique ten-minute light and sound performance, Waddesdon Imaginarium.
The story begins with the house coming to life, as synchronised patterns of light chase across the building’s architectural features breathing life into the stonework. Subsequent chapters explore the collections from the musical elephant automaton to dancing plates inspired by the Sèvres dinner service, spinning portraits and intricate clocks to regiments of weapons from the Armoury Corridor. The magic reaches a climax and the objects scatter as the projection transitions into chapters focusing on the garden and aviary, culminating in a festive flourish of luminous decorations.
The ten-minute performance will be projected onto the Manor eight times each evening and will be seen by more than 100,000 visitors as they enjoy a festive experience in Waddesdon’s decorated grounds this Christmas.
The show has been created by seven students on the BA (Hons) Video Design for Live Performance at the Guildhall School who have worked on this project and visited the Manor over a period of six months. Working with the curatorial team, they have scanned in 3D no less than 50 objects from Waddesdon’s collection, as well as mapped the front elevation of the building to enable the projection, and calculated the projection requirements (14 large format projectors) necessary for the enormous 1,700 square metre facade.
In addition, around 40 students on other music pathways including the BMus (Hons) Electronic Music have been commissioned to create original music to accompany the projection. Uniquely, Waddesdon will be using three musical interpretations to accompany the 3D video projection performances, offering visitors different experiences of the Imaginarium.
Waddesdon’s 2017 Winter Light programme also includes Electric Menagerie, a series of eleven light-based artworks inspired by the real and fantastical animals associated with Waddesdon and the Rothschild family, created by American artist Lauren Booth.