Scotland’s first Ayrton Perseo fixtures featured in itison’s major new event series
Ayrton’s new IP65-rated Perseo LED profile fixtures saw their first Scottish engagements when they were specified by lighting designer, Grant Anderson, for two major outdoor winter events in Glasgow, created and produced by online marketing and events company, itison.
The first in a series of major events from itison, the spectacular GlasGLOW, returned at Halloween to Glasgow Botanic Gardens for the second year running, drawing over 100,000 visitors over its two-and-a-half week run (25 Oct – 10 Nov 2019). This exciting sound and light extravaganza took visitors through the Gardens on a 60-minute, 2km interactive trail of light, through nine differently themed worlds that delighted with fresh surprises at every turn.
Twelve Ayrton Perseo fixtures were employed to dramatic effect by Anderson in three of these worlds: Arcade, The Dragon’s Lair and Area G12, with a further 8 units of Ayrton’s unique MagicPanel-FX adorning The Party Palace within the Botanic Gardens’ giant glasshouse.
In the Arcade zone, Anderson used the Perseo gobo palette to texture the grass and create disco effects in the ‘Beat the Boss’ arena – a fun, interactive dance area where children tried to out-dance ‘The Boss’.
The Dragon’s Lair was an eerie wooded area in which three giant ‘dragon’s eggs’ were suspended from the branches of the trees. More Perseo units were deployed at ground-level to project fast-rotating gobos into the branches for an atmospheric textural effect through the trees.
For Area G12 – masquerading as a UFO crash-landing site within the Botanic Gardens – Anderson used Perseo’s linear gobos in a low sweeping pan through tall grass to add alien atmosphere and a sense of emergency. “We had a lot of positive feedback from the audience, especially from this area,” says Anderson. “They loved the idea of the shadow play created as people walked through lines formed by the gobos which was very effective across the grass.”
Anderson specified the Perseo units with itison’s major new event series in mind after trialling them in a shootout organised with Ayrton’s exclusive UK distributor, Ambersphere, during the Edinburgh Festival in August. “I needed something that could withstand three months of Scottish winter weather,” says Anderson, “but when I saw what Perseo was capable of, it was a stand-out winner. With other exterior IP-rated fixtures I have used, there is always a compromise. Usually they are not as bright, or the colour mixing is not as nice, or they are slower – but Perseo is different from anything else with no compromise in performance despite its weather resistance. It is effectively a Ghibli but waterproof! This meant I was able to specify them purely from the design point of view, with the IP-rating being almost a bonus.”
The Perseo units were provided by the project’s lighting supplier, Hawthorn, sourced from Edinburgh’s Blue Parrot, and employed again for the second event at Christmas and New Year: itison presents Elfingrove at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Running for a month from 5 December 2019 to 5 January 2020, itison presents Elfingrove was inspired by the films A Night at the Museum and Elf and offered a festive, night-time tour of Scotland’s best-loved museum in the form of an interactive audio and light journey through the galleries as never seen before.
Inside, crowds filtered past animated dinosaurs, elves, a suspended spitfire shot through with projection mapping and lighting effects, to the Main Hall decked out as Santa’s mission control.
Outside, the façade of the beautiful Spanish baroque-style building was illuminated brilliantly and attracted over 185,000 people in total. Twelve Perseo fixtures were rigged on trusses on the lawns outside the front and rear of the building. From here custom gobos with retro snowflakes and snow were projected on both sides of the museum to create dynamic 10-minute sequences which entertained all evening, while a single Perseo was dedicated to a custom Elfingrove gobo mapped over the existing Kelvingrove sign. The lighting even got special mention in Scotland’s Sunday Post newspaper which stated: “From the outside, the museum does look absolutely stunning with an incredible light show illuminating the building in Christmassy colours.” (Sunday Post, 7 December 2019).
“We are really happy with the solid performance the Perseo units have given,” says Anderson. “The team and I have loved working with them. It’s great to have, essentially, an indoor fixture outside, with no need for a dome or any compromise on features or performance.
“Ayrton has packed everything into Perseo, made it as functional and as good as possible, small enough for indoors and weatherproof enough for outdoors. It is an industry standard moving light spot, that just happens to be IP65-rated – with no compromises.”
Text: Julie Harper
Photos: © itison