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TEC lights up the Carillon with Christie

TEC lights up the Carillon with Christie

TEC lights up the Carillon with Christie


Christie’s Australian partner, The Electric Canvas (TEC), was recently approached by the National Capital Authority (NCA) to develop architectural projections on the National Carillon’s façade in support of National Reconciliation Week 2020. The Carillon is a 50m-high musical instrument gifted by the British Government to the people of Australia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the national capital and was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1970. It is situated in Canberra and sits on Aspen Island in Lake Burley Griffin, connected to the northern foreshore by a pedestrian bridge. TEC chose to deploy 12 Christie Crimson 3DLP laser projectors to deliver the projections onto the Carillon.

Four projection towers were set up by TEC, with each housing three 25,000-lumen Crimson WU25 laser projectors running in portrait mode. “We decided that the Christie Crimson projectors were the most suitable for this task,” explained Peter Milne, managing director, TEC. “Not only are they engineered to withstand the rigours of demanding, high-usage applications with an IP5X-sealed, solid-state laser light source, they are also energy-efficient and deliver a superior colour gamut. These make the Crimson projectors perfect tool to highlight the brilliant hues of the content and the important messaging that it conveyed.”

National Reconciliation Week takes place each year in Australia to celebrate the relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. With the exception of the Carillon projections, National Reconciliation Week 2020 was celebrated entirely online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The theme for this year was In This Together, which highlighted the importance of coming together to support each other in a shared experience, whether in a crisis or in reconciliation.

TEC surveyed the Carillon prior to National Reconciliation Week and created a wireframe model to plan a projection layout. The structure was to be activated over eight consecutive nights, with each night dedicated to a different Indigenous organisation or in observation of key dates. “Culturally sensitive work with a lot of stakeholders involved usually takes months,” furthered Milne, “but we decided to take on the challenge. The first step was briefing the participants and explaining how a projection on this type of structure works; it’s not just putting someone’s painting up on a flat wall. The Carillon is 50m high and made of three triangular columns that are 6m wide on each facet.”

The design process had to overcome challenges with viewing angles and distances that varied from 100m to over 850m around the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Key messaging had to consider all the possible vantage points, and TEC had to educate the contributing artists and stakeholders on what the opportunities and limitations were in relation to the content.

The NCA decided to reopen Aspen Island to limited numbers of people during the event, as the Covid-19 situation had improved. Because of this, TEC had to allow for very close proximity viewing. “This created an opportunity to present something more intimate, with a lot of detail, that could be seen close-up,” related Milne. “The tower locations were chosen to provide a clean shot at an internal facet. This allowed us to project text and explanatory items on an internal facet that you couldn’t see from anywhere else.”

Michael Bosworth, executive vice president, Enterprise, Christie, commented: “Despite the restrictions brought about by Covid-19, Peter and his team have once again risen to the occasion and delivered spectacular visuals at the National Carillon that all Australians can be proud of. We are also delighted that our Crimson Series projectors provided brilliant and intensely colourful images that encouraged all Australians to reflect upon the part they play – whether big or small – on our journey towards Reconciliation.”

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