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Clay Paky Sharpys Create ‘Light Architecture’ for London Art Show
Lighting Designer
Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF)
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UK – Interactive light technology group Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) is utilising the pure-beam power of Clay Paky Sharpys to create an inspired ‘light architecture’ installation at a huge disused church in central London.

Ten Clay Paky Sharpys were rigged in a circle high in the disused main hall of the Welsh Church on Shaftesbury Avenue for an interactive art performance entitled ‘Nest’. The fixtures’ industry-renowned beam was used to create an acute criss-cross prism of clean, directed light around the space. The innovative performance was based on Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey and featured cutting-edge dance troupe New Movement Collective.

McNicholas, one of the directors of MLF explains why the fixtures were so valuable to the performance: “The production itself was a holistic collaboration where costume would inform choreography, which would in turn influence the set design and lighting. The Sharpy lights were the most important creative tool to help draw the connecting lines between the intricate choreography and sleek architectural design for the show whilst maintaining aesthetic harmony with the beautiful rugged interior of the Welsh Chapel.”

The UK based group MLF, which says it aims to create ‘groundbreaking work of epic proportions mixing art and technology’, is no stranger to the Sharpy, having experimented with its unique features on multiple interactive light performance projects.

The intelligent technology of the Sharpy design with its rapid and extensive pan and tilt movements made it the perfect solution to merge with MLF’s own tracking technology designed to make the light respond to the specific movement of any individual or object in a live situation.

McNicholas explains: “Lots of our work is in R&D and this is where experimenting with the Sharpys is most fun. We develop custom apps for most projects we take on board. The way we interface with the Sharpys is via DMX and as technologies converge, what we use as inputs becomes very exciting as it can be depth cameras, motion sensors, or quadrotors, so the hacking/hijacking stage becomes an inspiring creative route. We get very excited about human interaction and the seamless workflow with the Sharpys means that we can knuckle down with the creative ideas without the laborious technical difficulties slowing things down.”

As for the future McNicholas continues: “MLF is in the fortunate position of having some incredible performance spaces offered up in which to present our work, creating unique experiences. The Sharpys will definitely be with us on many journeys to come!”