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top lit from acute angles, to accentuate their beauty and form. Animation to the space comes from a projected ‘Fleecy Cloud’.


The North Court opens with a stylised Contact


Lighting Design: David Atkinson Lighting Design (DALD) 020 8979 6113 www.dald.co.uk Designers: Tim Hatley & Drinkall Dean Lighting Suppliers: ETC, Light Projects, Enliten, Spotlight, UFO, AC Special Projects


Main Contractor: The Hub Electrical Contractor: Reed Engineering


Photography: © Nick Wood Photography www.a1lightingmagazine.com


‘prop store’ incorporating typical back stage elements. Here, low level fluorescents fitted with steel blue filters uplight the rear wall and five period prop lights with dimmed internal light sources are set within the display. Accent lighting picks out the exhibits from track fixtures. The ‘prop store’ is a deliberately dark space to evoke the back stage feel and create dramatic contrast to the next gallery. Emerging out of the prop store, visitors come across the magnificent Firebird backcloth designed by Natalia Goncharova for the wedding scene in the 1913 production of The Firebird. The cloth is the largest single object in the V&A's collection, measuring 10m x 16m. DALD illuminated it (to strict conservation levels) from asymmetric flood fixtures and wash lights positioned one metre out from the top of the cloth. The lighting to the Backcloth was sequenced to fade up and down in conjunction with large scale digital video projections of dancers within the space. On the reverse side of the Firebird Cloth is Le Train Bleu front cloth, designed by Pablo Picasso in 1922 and painted by scene painter, Alexandre Shervashidze. The same lighting technique as used on the Firebird cloth was applied. Displayed on the adjacent wall are Picasso costume illustrations. These are part illuminated by three suspended period acting lights. Two recreations of the cubist ‘Mangers’ costumes are lit in intense colour to highlight their enormous scale. The last gallery contains light sensitive materials such as works on paper, which were illuminated by fibre optics or carefully controlled incandescent light sources. A number of different lighting techniques were used including colour, shuttering and intensity. The final objects on display are garments by Yves Saint Laurent inspired by the Ballets Russes, which are tightly lit from acute angles. Strong colours and carefully controlled lighting give perspective depth to the space. Rebecca Lim, V&A’s head of South Kensington Exhibitions, says: ‘The lighting design played a critical part in creating drama in the exhibition and highlighting the incredible objects on display.’


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