In an ambitious endeavour to redefine our creative boundaries, ELS + DECLAN embarked on a transformative 12-month journey of intensive research, exploration, and mentoring. This visionary project allowed us to push the limits of set design, with a profound focus on harnessing the creative potential of projection.
Our project began with the curation of a distinguished list of artists and designers, including luminaries such as Robert Wilson, Hans Op De Beeck, Anthony Gormley, Es Devlin, and Sol Le Witt. Delving deeper into their works, we sought inspiration and possibilities to elevate our craft.
We also delved into the intricate techniques and approaches that define contemporary theatre design. Through this exploration, we aimed to infuse fresh elements and ideas into our own designs, fostering a culture of innovation.
Building on our previous experience with projection technology, we aspired to unlock new dimensions. This involved mastering front, rear, and down projection techniques, exploring overlapping methods, and integrating projection mapping. Our goal was not only to understand the technology’s scope and limits but also to experiment with and apply these insights on stage during a month-long residency in the main stage theatre at An Táin Arts Centre.
An Táin Arts Centre’s generous partnership provided us with a theatre space, projection equipment, and a stage. This collaborative gesture created a unique platform for us to test various possibilities, liberating us from the constraints of production schedules.
We also benefited from mentoring sessions led by theatre technician, Dylan Connolly. His technical expertise and insight played a crucial role in translating our ideas into tangible realities from a technical standpoint.
A Catalyst for Growth
We firmly believe that this intensive period of exploration and experimentation has accelerated our growth and evolution as set designers. It allowed us to step out of our comfort zone, redefine creative boundaries, and find innovative solutions. The insights and knowledge gained from this endeavour have not only enriched our own development but also promise to contribute to the broader theatre community.
By embracing this moment of exploration and pushing the boundaries of our creative thinking, we aspire to breathe fresh life into our upcoming productions, offering audiences a visual and experiential journey unlike any other.
Many thanks to the Arts Council of Ireland for funding this project with a Bursary Award, to An Tain Arts Centre for generously partnering with us and to Dylan Connolly for sharing his wealth of knowledge through mentorship along the way.