‘Where Light Falls’. Coventry Cathedral

‘Where Light Falls’ Coventry Cathedral was a joint project between Historic England, Double Take Projections, Poetry Society and Coventry Cathedral to mark the 80th anniversary of the start of World War Two. The large scale projection was part of Historic England’s ‘Loss and Destruction’ season: a series of events that seek to understand the consequences when cultural heritage is attacked during conflict and how we save, protect and restore. The juxtaposition of Basil Spence’s Coventry Cathedral and ruins of the medieval Coventry Cathedral provided a stunning backdrop for our projection mapping show of powerful poetry, visuals and photography.


Coventry Cathedral Architectural Projection Mapping Show

Client – Historic England
Location – Coventry Cathedral, Coventry
Date – 14th -16th November 2019
Project Partners – Coventry Cathedral, Coventry Council, Coventry Bid, The Poetry Society
Archive Partners – Historic England, Imperial War Museum, Historic Environment Scotland, Getty Images, Coventry Cathedral
Poet – Jane Commane
Soundtrack – Barnaby Smith
Projector Spec – 2 x PT-RZ31K 31,000 Lumen Laser Projectors, 2 x PT-RZ970K 10,000 Lumen Laser Projectors and 1x PT-RZ21K 21,000 Lumen Laser Projector

Illuminated Stained Glass Artwork

Working in conjunction with Coventry Cathedral, Historic England, Poetry Society and the Imperial War Museum, we produced a moving tribute of light and sound for the audience. In our outdoor large scale projection mapping event, we paid tribute to the heroic individuals who tried in vain to save the building during the blitz in WW2 and to the future of the city of Coventry as a city of peace and reconciliation.
‘When I stood in the new Coventry Cathedral, I thought it was the most beautiful building I’d ever been inside.’

Steven McConnachie in an interview for Historic England. 
While the stories of individuals associated with the cathedral stimulated our creative, the buildings directly inspired the illuminated artwork. The stained-glass features in our projection with tumbling, glowing shapes which resemble sun shining through the rainbow colours of the building’s glass.

Incorporating Innovative Graphics and Archives

The tower and massive walls provided us with facades and precincts to illuminate with original visuals from our design team. Jane Commane’s poem ‘In A New Light’ was brought to life through our cutting-edge projections, incorporating innovative graphics and archive photography, as it remembered the heroic efforts of individuals who risked their lives to save a building they loved.

We used five sites around the two cathedral buildings to create a dramatic light trail experience for the audience, enhanced with a beautiful soundtrack from Barnaby Smith.

“We were delighted the people of Coventry turned out in force to enjoy Where Light Falls over three nights, despite the rainy weather. We had 16,000 visit the light installation, gathering in the magnificent ruins of the old cathedral to pay tribute to the past, present and future of the city.
In the Coventry Observer Ellen Harrison, Historic England’s head of public programming

Bringing the Community Together

On dark winter nights, a light show brings people out from their houses and into their communities – connecting people and places through spectacular visual storytelling. More than 16,000 people braved torrential rain and flooding in the area to attend over three evenings. We had widespread coverage on local television and press.

“Where Light Falls is a stunning installation which invites the people of Coventry to look at their own cathedral in a beautiful new light. The projections on the massive walls and tower are awe-inspiring – I’m sure all our visitors were overwhelmed by the way that Historic England and Double Take Projections teams have captured the history and emotion of our incredible city, capturing and conveying not just the tragedy of loss but overwhelmingly the hope of a new future – Coventry’s story of hope rebuilt again and again from the rubble of destruction, a gift for a world which is looking for peace.”
In the Coventry Observer the Dean of Coventry, John Witcomb


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