Port Inhabited: synchronised stories on multiple buildings

Port Inhabited was a large-scale Architectural Storytelling projection arts project by illuminart, held on 8th and 9th October during Port Festival 2011.

Illuminart transfigured the precinct with architectural projection, using many buildings on both sides of the street as a canvas for synchronised narrative projections representing the history of the Port Adelaide area. The storyline was developed in consultation with historians, Kaurna elders, and long term residents, and commemorated 175 years of settlement in South Australia through highlighting the historic architecture, local characters and the way of life during the 1900s and height of shipping trade in the Port. Along all the buildings the projected images moved synchronously through a ten minute loop moving from prehistory to current times, as dolphins “swam” the full length of the street.

The show received glowing praise for the extraordinary moving image projections and storytelling on the buildings, and won an Australia Day award for best community event in the region.

Accomplishments included: a whole street of synchronised projections which were fully animated with connected story elements and mapped to the features of the buildings, creating an immersive experience (using both sides of the street). The 12 buildings depicted significant stories through “architectural storytelling” developed over 18 months. An estimated 6000 people attended the event and it was highly acclaimed by local residents, businesses, Council and State organisations. It was also the debut of the ever popular ShipShape – an illuminated spectacle in its own right – a recumbent bicycle refurbished into sailing ship with onboard moving image projector.

WOW!!!! Illuminart did it again with a fabulous light and projection show... The historical content was fantastic; congratulations on your interesting and thorough research... We all had different favourites, feeling proud of our heritage, entertained and so glad to be part of such a unique event.

Bev Scott