Illuminate, a spectacular light festival that connects the Mayflower 400 destinations across the UK and internationally, returned to the historic Royal William Yard for four days in November 2018.
The festival offered an immersive experience, with projections and light installations set out across the Yard, live performances and opportunities for audiences to interact with the works.
Illuminate 2018 featured international artists including Xavi Bové and Thomas Voillaume. Performed live Bové’s piece, ‘Visual Songs’ allowed visitors to conduct virtual brushes to create their own personalised artwork, which they could print and take home with them afterwards. Voillaume brought ‘Human’, a sculpture of a humanoid form that light and video was projected onto. The light gave the sculpture emotions and revealed its history, blurring the lines between reality and hallucination.
Also new was the use of water screen technology, as artists experimented with projecting onto the sea as well as land. Other artists creating installations included Mark Parry, Jamie Knight, 1000 Errors, Josh Small and Effervescent, as well as University of Plymouth graduates Juliet Middleton-Batts and Paige Alexander.
Phil Power, Associate Professor in BA (Hons) Fine Art exhibited his piece involving the iconic grey Stothert and Pitt’s cranes at the Yard, alongside three current fine art students at the festival. While Associate Lecturer in Media Arts Rachael Allain's piece, 'Epipelagic Drifters', highlighted the importance of plankton for the wellbeing of the environment, and the impact of marine plastic on the oceans. It featured voice-overs from leading marine researchers at the University.
Illuminate was free to attend and there were plenty of interactive workshops to get involved in, both during and in the lead-up to the festival.