Festival Visit: Greenwich & Docklands International Festival 2017

Our Programme Manager, Laura Broome, attended GDIF last week. With an exciting mix of outdoor theatre and events on offer, Laura gives us her highlights and some insight as to how these could work here at Salford Quays.

1) VR Playground by Thrill Laboratory (UK)

Thrill Laboratory are a UK based company of artists, designers, engineers, scientists and technologists working to create experimental thrilling experiences. VR Playground consisted of 8 swing sets set up in a line outdoors, each manned by a volunteer who gave instructions on how to use the VR and audio equipment. The artist met audiences at the entrance to the installation area and asked us to choose from one of four experiences. I chose the underwater theme. Audience members then got a link and QR code to take away with them to re-watch their experience after the event. The experience was great, with high quality visuals and an interesting experience of physically moving whilst virtually moving through the VR. This piece could work really well at the Quays.

2) Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram

Luke Jerram is a UK-based artist who works across disciplines in the creation of sculpture, installations and live artworks. Museum of the Moon was shown throughout the day but came into its own after sunset. The installation was a fusion of lunar imagery taken from NASA, moonlight and surround sound composition. The artist spoke about the installation being used in festivals as a backdrop for poets and dance performances, which I would imagine it works very effectively for. It was a stunning installation in itself and people dwelled for up to an hour, even at 11pm, lying underneath the moon. The setting however needs to be pitch black to get the full effect, which would be very difficult at The Quays due to the high levels of ambient light.

3) FierS à Cheval by Compagnie des Quidams

Comagnie des Quidmas are a French-based company who create street art, which stimulates the imagination using narrative and storytelling. FierS à Cheval was a narrative piece about a group of 8 horses, which were illuminated from within (very similar in design and style to Intrude by Amanda Parer) and conducted by an actress. It was a promenade performance, which then culminated in a 30 min performance in the square. The horses themselves were beautiful and would work for the Quays Culture programme, but the promenade and narrative aspects don’t wholly work with Quays Culture’s digital remit.