Lumiere Derry - Londonderry

NOVAK were commissioned by the highly regraded public art producers, Artichoke, to create a centre piece projection mapping of the stunning Austins department store, for the Derry-Londonderry edition of their world renowned Lumiere festival, which they hosted over four spectacular nights in November 2014.


Inspired by Austins claim to be the world’s oldest departments store, NOVAK produced a whistle stop audio visual journey inspired by the fantastical novels of Jules Verne, creating a light hearted, amusing and bizarre journey, custom built to fit the building’s facade, accompanied by a magical score by composer Ed Carter.

The challenge that Austins presented NOVAK was met with equal measures of joy and trepidation. This was a stunningly beautiful building, but filled with highly detailed complexities, plus the aim of the projection was not to just cover one facade, but the entire structure, including the towering corner section. To achieve this highly ambitious project required a great level of technical expertise combined with a creative approach that was both sensitive to the structure and with a distinct eye for the spectacular!

NOVAK were teamed up with projection specialists, QED, who where responsible for supplying and operating the many projectors and media servers required of this project, but also to create a template for NOVAK to work from. As a result of the highly complex nature of the Austins, it was  necessary for QED to carry out a 3D laser scan of Austins, from which they produced a pixel accurate UV Map, which formed the templet that NOVAK created ‘Voyage’ from.

The complexity of the UV Map, required NOVAK to create a bespoke workflow that allowed them animate a combination of 2D graphics and 3D elements, while being able to preview their creations projected onto a 3D model of Austins, all within After Effects. By conceiving this seamless workflow, NOVAK were able to pre – visualise their projection mapping from the multitude of viewing perspectives, ensuring no unwanted surprises when arriving onsite in Derry-Londonderry, as well as allowing their focus to be firmly on the creative.

Creatively NOVAK were provided with a minimal brief,  ‘…create something that takes the viewer on a magical journey……’. With this in mind NOVAK set about researching possible subject matter, that delivered on the brief, but could also form visually exciting imagery that worked within the complex canvas of Austins. The department store was built in the Victorian era, at a similar time to when Jules Verne’s ‘Voyages Extraordinaires’ was published. Verne’s tales of time machines, amazing journeys and many other fantastic adventures provided a fitting inspiration for this epic projection mapping.  The final result that was ‘Voyage’ was made up of five highly distinctive scenes featuring fantastic Victorian era transportation machines, tropical lands filled with exotic birds and creatures, through to a sea battered ship drowned in seaweed, into an under water bubble metropolis filed with giant squid and the epic finally of the battle between night and day!

‘Voyage’ ran for four nights at Lumiere Derry – Londonderry to rapturous reception and was featured in the Guardian and the BBC.

Commissioned by Artichoke for Lumiere Derry – Londonderry

Technical delivery by QED

Soundtrack by Ed Carter