Lighten Up

For two nights in November 2012 Guildhall Square in Southampton was transformed by the performance project Lighten Up where drawings from Ipads were projected onto buildings using Tagtool software. I was thrilled to be asked to collaborate with Vivid Arts and Tagtool and was one of a number of artists performing. I collaborated with Natalia Data ( an audio engineer performer and composer .Working with Natalia was a great experience, it was mind blowing to hear my words within her music and  her interpretation of my ideas and text into her music was something I couldn’t have predicted.



The performance based on research work for  which I had gained funding from Solent University,  where I am exploring the text Great Expectations through my drawing and mixed media work. The drawing and animation in  the performance responded to a poem I wrote about Miss Havisham, and the images projected onto the buildings were of a giant web that held words from the text within it. This then span (using Tagtool animation) as the music intensified.   We were given instruction through workshops and tutorials on how to use the Tagtool software before the event and on the day. The process starts with drawing. A digital pen or finger can be used to paint and draw onscreen with a variety of tools and brushes, which can be manipulated by on screen commands. This involves swiping between screens to create multiple layers of line, colour and activity, which the user can decide are seen or unseen to the public this also gives the opportunity to prepare a little before the performance. Once the software has been mastered it’s a fun and intuitive way of working, which has endless possibilities which you also have the option of animating. The Tagtool software has no option to save so once you have decided to erase your piece it’s gone forever unless you film it. The Event led to some cross discipline collaborations between staff and students from Illustration, Music performance and animation.  It was a fantastic opportunity to form close working relationships with staff from different specialisms sharing a common end goal which was to make the finished projection as exciting and thought provoking as possible for the viewing public. Collaborating with a member of staff from music and  performance increased my awareness of developing my working practice within animation, film and music that I had not previously considered, whilst at the same time  giving me the opportunity to learn and embrace new technology.