The Walker Arts Gallery in Liverpool, England, has recently reopened after a 4.3-million-pound refurbishment, part of National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside’s (NMGM) first major capital project for the 21st century. iVision supplied and coordinated the equipment for an eye-catching exterior architectural lighting scheme for the reopening celebration. The show was designed and produced by Liverpool City Council’s cultural events officer and lighting designer Lee Forde.

The Victorian building facade features central steps and an extruded section with Greek columns and flat sections either side. The columns and two statues either side of the steps were lit using 300W profile fixtures, and the flat end sections of the building’s fascia were bathed in blue light from powerful Coemar Panorama 1,800W cyc fixtures to infuse it with texture and depth. Tight four-way finger-beam fans of ACLs were also used for contrast. At the top of the building is the famous reclining lady, the Sprit of Liverpool statue. This was also front- and rear-lit for the occasion, using 250W floods and a 300W profile spot.

The blue-washed building sides were then overlaid with high-powered, large-scale white scenic projections--featuring special slides of some of the artwork on display inside. Two Hardware for Xenon 7kW units were supplied by CT, and programmed and operated by Peter Wilms. The projectors were concealed behind fountains outside the building, so no equipment was visible to guests coming into the arrivals area. The projections consisted of a 20-minute scrolling slide show, with two asymmetric images running for the first 10 minutes of the show, which merged to form one central image for the latter half.

The lighting formed a static backdrop for the moving slide projection, giving the building impact and presence for the gala opening. The lighting scheme was a big hit, allowing the Gallery to make a lasting impression on visitors, and to become a special feature in its own right.

Photos: Peter Wilms