Illuminart shines at major awards

By Ian Williams

Creating spectacular moving images on landmark buildings is guaranteed to thrill and generate high level wow factor.

But that was never enough for South Australian artistic director, Cindi Drennan.

Cindi had an idea of using the huge potential of projection art to involve entire communities to create animated productions with images, sound and music for a lasting legacy.

It’s a unique approach to art and storytelling which has recently delivered her company Illuminart a top prize at the Australian Event Awards for the Best Regional Event in South Australia.

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Illuminart’s 40-minute Boston Bay Broadcast was projected onto the giant Port Lincoln grain silos during this year’s Tunarama Festival

The award was given for Illuminart’s 40-minute Boston Bay Broadcast which was projected onto the giant Port Lincoln grain silos during this year’s Tunarama Festival.

The judges said it was a fantastic credit to the makers, “a great legacy … integrating both indigenous and white culture and linking both young and old stories. Highly innovative in nature and extremely effective in reaching out to its local community.”

While the show was impressive, it’s just one part of an ambitious Port to Port projection series which Illuminart is rolling out at key ports along the South Australian coast.

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Cindi had an idea of using the huge potential of projection art to involve entire communities

Cindi describes it as a “grand vision” which began taking shape 20 years ago when she first captivated by projection art and realised its potential.

“But I quickly became very frustrated at how quickly the displays became formulaic,” she says. “So many of the events were costing an extraordinary amount of money and were done and dusted in a short timeframe with nothing lasting to show for the cost.

“I thought if we’re going to be spending that sort of money on large scale events surely we can make the project work on multiple levels and leave a legacy.”

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Illuminart’s Port to Port work has been taken to another level by engaging local communities and their artists in the production, content and presentation

Cindi founded Illuminart in 2007 and the company was soon winning awards around Australia for its projection and illumination art shows at major events and on buildings such as the Sydney Opera House.

With Port to Port, Illuminart’s work has been taken to another level by engaging local communities and their artists in the production, content and presentation.

Planning for the Boston Bay Broadcast began in 2014 after the project secured seed funding from Arts SA and Country Arts SA. It involved research to identify local stories, plus workshops with local artists, community leaders and teachers in Port Lincoln to explain how they could become involved.

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Cindi was soon winning awards around Australia for projection and illumination art shows at landmark buildings

“Our goal is to have regular events so that people can view the history of their towns through the eyes of our story tellers,” says Cindi.

“It’s a way of bringing artists together from different communities and creating new opportunities for them through digital media.”

Illuminart has already begun early production for events at other ports, including Port Pirie, Victor Harbor, Goolwa and Port Elliot, and is researching material for Mount Gambier and Port Augusta.

The productions will also be reformatted into short films.

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