SWIFF Light Box – a Luminous Projection Art Trail

SWIFF Light Box merged visual art, film-making, storytelling and projection, into a luminous narrative trail coinciding with the 2018 ScreenWaves international film festival.

Each night from January 19 until January 25 2018, the quarry and three other Jetty sites – the old forestry building, Element Bar and the tower cavity at Jetty Memorial Theatre – were bathed in a play of colour as the works of four respected Coffs artists were brought to life by a team of animators and multimedia creatives.

The four prominent local visual artists – award-winning artist Alison Williams, graffiti artist Ash Johnston, painter Brentyn Lugnan and sandpainter John Thiering – took their artwork and ideas into a new dimension across the four sites.

  • The audience encountered different facets of the installation and art at each of the sites, ranging from an eerie and surreal installation with soundscape by Dave Basek and Mitch Carey at the Forestry site; a trippy interactive couch projection at Element Bar; and a window and ceiling installation at the Jetty Theatre.

    The most dramatic of the sites was the cliff-face at the quarry, a Gumbaynggirr women’s site, where words and art by artist Alison Williams set the headland rocky outcrop aglow, visible from a kilometre away at the Coffs Harbour Jetty. The projection shared the story of the creation of water and the South Coffs island, and was opened in a meaningful welcome by Gumbaynggirr elder Aunty Bea Ballangarry, who said that the projection and story would help to bring understanding and recognition.

    The process of linking the artists’ work and developing the narrative was a process that evolved through conversations and meetings over a couple of months, supported by SWIFF director Dave Horsley, illuminart Artistic director Cindi Drennan, Associate Creative Director Diane James, and Animation director Andy Petrusevics.

    The “storyline” created by linking all of the artists’ work into a surreal narrative, was composited by digital artisans – moving image specialists and trainees – working remotely in places like Clare, Port Lincoln, Perth, Lismore, Victor Harbor over many weeks, many of them continuing over Christmas and New year to complete it in time.

    The final media was then projection mapped on site by a team of three illuminart specialists, assisted by Coffs Harbour’s AV company “Any Entertainment”.

    SWIFF Light Box was a collaboration between ScreenWaves international film festival and illuminart, supported by Festivals Australia and has received generous support from Kennards Hire, Any Entertainment, Forestry Corporation of NSW, Element Bar and Coffs Harbour City Council.