Rupert Newman creates bespoke light shows that transform bricks and mortar into fantastical worlds where anything is possible. Here Vogue’s ‘King of Projections’ sheds light on his unusual art form – and why funerals might just be the next big thing.
What exactly is projection mapping – and what does a light show involve?
It’s a bespoke lighting design that wraps around buildings and plays out like a film. I use animation software to bring my designs to life and layer them together to extraordinary effect. Every show is tailor-made and can last anything from seven minutes to seven hours, often synchronised to music. I collaborate closely with a team of animators, composers, concept designers and video editors to ensure an out-of-this world result.
How did you find yourself in this industry?
My background is in printed textile design but I decided to transform the application of my work and project onto architecture instead. I started VJing at festivals such as The Secret Garden Party with a really small projector but it became so popular I soon had to invest in a larger one. The rest is history.
What sort of events do you work on?
My work is often commissioned as a surprise – the unexpected climax to an evening. From a wedding present, to a birthday gift, guests rarely know what is about to happen and a light extravaganza becomes a great talking point.
I look forward to illuminating Villa Rothschild in Nice for a spectacular wedding this year but my work is great for branded events too – I’ve designed for the likes of Warner Music, Yahoo, Pinewood Studios and Dom Perignon.