Drawing of famous Australian singer Marie Narelle projected in musical production "As Coo-ee to Marie"

Thursday, 2 March 2023

Coo-Ee to Marie – Artistic and technical support

‘Coo-Ee to Marie’ is a delightful musical production celebrating the life and journey of famous Australian singer Marie Narelle (Catherine Mary Ryan) from 1870 Combaning, Temora to 1941 Chipping Norton, U.K. and home again.

Illuminart are delighted to have provided technical and artistic support to Coralie McKenzie and the Temora Historical Society for this free family event at a charming location, The Bundawarrah Centre. Local performers, musicians and artists, interstate and international partners collaborated to bring together a rich tapestry of enjoyable singalongs, Irish classics, plenty of Aussie humour and a few magical surprises along the way.

Coralie McKenzie worked with the local community to incorporate the projection of digital artwork with the assistance of illuminart’s Alice Peacock.

Illuminart’s involvement in the Production of ‘Coo-ee To Marie’, as Coralie’s mentor, included solving a unique problem. Coralie needed a projection screen that could be viewed from both sides, and could be rigged in the doorway of the Temora RFS shed. After a little research illuminart concluded that the best solution was to make a custom screen.  Illuminart sewed the specialty screen in-house to a custom size. No mean feat for over 10 square metres of fabric that cannot touch the ground!

External projection art was developed by Coralie using artwork from talented Temora community members, who attended a workshop at the Bundawarrah Centre.  It was a delight for Coralie to work alongside these Temora community artists, including TADVAC members, and illuminart are thrilled to have been able to provide our technical and artistic support to the process.

Interior projections included contributions from Green Beetle Company, The Dancing Grannies, Miil Miil Productions and Birdyulang Animations, Coralie McKenzie, with some cameo footage from Makaela including images from Coralie McKenzie, video footage from Mt Erin Magic, developed for the Mt Erin Heritage Centre 2021, while CSU sound brought the production to life. The workshop included a brief presentation on Marie Narelle from Bill Speirs and Coralie. The overall color scheme evolved from the palette each artist used in their work, the location and story, combined with special effects and gentle animation techniques bringing their work to life.

Snapshots of ‘Mt Erin Magic’, prepared for Mt Erin Heritage Centre by Coralie in 2021, and ‘Our Voice in the Crowd’, prepared for the Bundawarrah Centre 2021/22, were also incorporated.  These works featured CSU students who have since graduated, and who have followed the Marie Narelle story for the last few years while still fellow students of Coralie McKenzie.

The world premier of “A Coo-Ee to Marie” took place on the 25th and 26th of February in the Temora Shire Council with a running time of 2 hours.

This project received significant funding as part of the Reconnecting Regional NSW Community Events Program as well as support from Eastern Riverina Arts, CASP funding.

Quote from the Artist

“Meeting Cindi Drennan, Alice Peacock and the Illuminart Team in 2019 while participating in “The Sanctuary – A Feathered Adventure in Light”, a Wagga Wagga Council Project, was inspiration to continue projection mapping techniques studied at CSU.   A Coo-ee to Marie miniature in comparison was an ambitious project to run solo when incorporating other components of the event.

Cindi Drennan and the team from illuminart, my “shining light”, allowed me to accumulate feedback and direction for future large scale projects from world class mentors, introducing me to members of their vast network. Artist/Animator, Alice Peacock was the projectionist for the event, allowing me to work with her and the illuminart family again as a fellow CSU Graduate and artist. Illuminart, thank you for having my back.” ~ Coralie McKenzie


Musical life of the ‘Australian Queen of Irish Song’ set to hit the stage