Winter in Venice
Well….The Venetian. In Las Vegas. But it looks like Venice, right? The Projection Studio is at it again with a winter wonderland being projected onto the facade of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Ross Ashton is no stranger to giant projection gigs, having accomplished some pretty amazing projects this past year. You can read more about them here or over at the Projection Studio’s website.
London, UK, based The Projection Studio – led by Ross Ashton – has delivered a spectacular and eye-catching new monumental video projection show to help celebrate the ‘Winter In Venice’ Festival at the world famous Venetian resort in Las Vegas.
Ashton has also created a series of works for a permanent video son et lumière extravaganza which was launched in summer and is being show nightly, year round. The colourful, vibrant giant images are projected on to a 25 x 25 metre canvass forming part of the Venetian’s frontage including a full scale replica of the famous Clock Tower from St Mark’s square in Venice. Ashton was initially asked by the Venetian to consult on the technical installation and produce all the projection artwork, after which he tendered and won the project having faced off some serious competition!
The newest ‘Winter In Venice’ video work is centered around Amadora, a character with roots deep in Italian folk lore, created by the Venetian as a key symbol for their 2012 Festival. In the projection show, she represents an anthropomorphisation of time – she is young at the start of the year and ages with the passing of time. Ashton developed this temporal idea and combined it with Vivaldi’s famous Four Seasons violin concertos as a starting point for his visual imagery, which follows the changing seasons of the year. It starts with the chilly ice of winter covering the building, which melts to reveal the flowers, positivity and energy of spring. For summer, viewers are transported to vivacious fields of blooming sunflowers, complete with a massive bee flying through, colliding with dandelions and pollinating them which then transitions into autumn. Grapes grow up the side of the building, mushrooms sprout and dance emphatically to the music and leaves swirl and jive around in a sea of movement, being buffeted by the seasonal breezes. These blast the action into winter, where the building ices up again … ready for the Festive season.
The five-minute piece is accompanied by a special re-worked version of The Four Seasons created by UK based sound artist, Karen Monid. She created one minute musical vignettes based on Vivaldi’s score, but very much in her own style.
A key reason that The Projection Studio was chosen to produce the series of visual shows is Aston’s reputation for pictorial storytelling with detailed historical references, which can really bring significance and relevance to any building or environment. The Venetian’s team wanted each show to have real depth and substance as well as being instantly accessible for the public. The resulting ‘live art’ phenomenon has been hugely successful at the Venetian with the initial three daily shows, and this has now continued with the special ‘Winter In Venice’ work. Says Ashton, “The challenge was to produce a unique and interesting narrative to engage onlookers in each case, which also required a distinctive Venetian feel, and had to be delivered to exceptionally high standards”. He has really enjoyed the experience, in the process adding The Venetian to a growing list of global landmarks to receive the Ashton projection art touch!
Ashton created all the storyboarding and worked alongside two other graphic designers – Nils Porrmann and Sang Gun Kim – on the imaging.