Ireland – Production designer Tom Rohan of Eventco has used the phenomenal power yet lightweight versatility of 12 Clay Paky SuperSharpys to light the ‘Spire’, the iconic 120-metre stainless steel monument in the centre of Dublin.
For the ‘inSpire’ lighting project, which launched Ireland’s celebrations of the UNESCO International Year of Light (IYOL) 2015 and coincided with the St. Patrick’s festival, Rohan worked alongside lighting designers Mick Murray and Matt Cregan to bring his concept to life.
“Originally we wanted to create a static light sculpture, which we drew up in WYSIWYG. However after creating a few looks we realised that with some movement/animation the sculpture could work from a number of different perspectives, from close-up in the streets around it to an indirect view from the city’s outskirts,” says Murray. “Because of the lightweight and compact size of the SuperSharpys, the freestanding structure only took up a 50cm footprint around the Spire.”
Cregan adds: “Not only that, thanks to the SuperSharpys’ low power consumption, we were able to use a mains supply which saved the use of noisy and bulky generators. It is revolutionary to the industry to get so much light out of a fixture of such little consumption.
“I was also surprised by its ability to keep an aerial gobo perfectly focused when it hit clouds and I didn’t expect saturates like a full cyan magenta combination to have such brightness.”
To create the structure, the designers positioned the feature-packed SuperSharpys, supplied by Ciaran Tallon at Production Services Ireland, on two circular trusses. These formed a collar around the spire, onto which the units were fixed.
“Since the Spire was erected in 2002, many in the lighting industry have seen it as a challenge to light,” says Rohan. “In previous years we investigated the idea of positioning large search lights around it, but the weight, location and power limitations to the site meant it remained an elusive task.
“However, that all changed in early January when I was sent a link to a SuperSharpy demo in Shanghai. I immediately knew they would be the perfect tool to finally illuminate the Spire and kick off all the festivities.”
The Clay Paky SuperSharpy is a relatively small fixture, weighing just 30kg. However its power far belies its size, as it is three times brighter than the ever-popular Sharpy, featuring a 470-watt, 7,800K lamp.
“The quality and intensity of the SuperSharpy’s light output is hugely impressive,” says Cregan. “We actually brought one to the photonics lab of the National University of Ireland Galway, who are key organisers within Ireland’s IYOL team, and showed the researchers there some of its features. They use light and lasers every day for medical research purposes and they were blown away by the clarity of the optics and intensity of the output.”
“Eventco is proud to have been a part of this ambitious project,” says Rohan. “We are a new event production company with the aim to link upcoming and exciting lighting designers and visual artists with corporate clients to bring about events that push boundaries and give a platform to emerging talent.”