Total Production

AniMotion Show Shines at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

August 2015

The latest AniMotion live painting, digital art and music show was presented by Aurora Nova as part of the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


The power of original painting created in real-time and projected onto stunning architecture accompanied by live music is a special collaboration between projection artist Ross Ashton, virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and acclaimed visual artist and painter Maria Rud.


The location for this magical outdoor experience - Venue 316 of the Fringe Festival - is the quadrangle at George Herriot’s School. The high impact art was being projected onto the side wall of the beautiful 17th century chapel.


Ashton said: “We are extremely excited to be performing at the Fringe and exceptionally fortunate that Dame Evelyn was also available so that we could all work together on crafting another special and ground-breaking AniMotion work.”


He created a projection map for the side of the chapel building that provides the detailed canvas, including all the architectural quirks and nuances, which is then laid over a lightbox onto which Rud paints live.


The images captured by the camera are fed into a laptop running Millumin, a software originally developed for VJs which can edge blend and map, and which also provides a number of other useful functions that Ashton has custom manipulated to produce elements of the AniMotion magic. 


The content is fed out to two Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors, beaming a blended 25 metre wide by 18 metre tall projected image of the painting process onto the side of the chapel.


Rud initially experimented with a number of ideas and established which shapes and colours worked best with the dynamics of the building. Then for each performance, the creation of the final eight painted works is entirely improvised – and slightly different – for each show.


The AniMotion concept has been developed by Ashton and Rud, an evocative fusion of technical wizardry and highly organic art which is completed with the additional resonance of live music.


For the Edinburgh shows, Glennie performed a series of modern classics including “Michi” by Keiko Abe and “Prim” by Askell Masson. The music and the rhythmic style and strokes of the painting finding its own distinctive harmony, in turn creating a highly emotional engagement with the audience. 


The projectors were supplied by Alastair Young of War Productions from Edinburgh, the cameras were from Ian White and Progressive Broadcast, and the d&b sound system was delivered by Warehouse Sound, co-ordinated by Ann Sullivan.

Also integral to the production team were Glennie’s sound engineer Andy Cotton and Ranald Nielson who coordinated the video production.


Ashton commented: “The fluid nature of the performance is something audiences really seem to embrace. The idea is to eliminate walls between the audience and the creative space, so anyone watching is encouraged to become closer to us via the work process and appreciate the mechanics of what we are doing.


"We want their movements to be as free as possible, which ensures that no two shows will ever be the same. The reaction on social media has been a great testament to how effective this approach can be.”


Related Articles