Spotlight: Rupert Newman | LIF 2015

British-born artist Rupert Newman is widely regarded as one of the top projection mapping artists in the field, transforming spaces with light and music, bringing events to life through meaningful experiences.

Newman joins the line-up for The London Illustration Fair (opening next Friday 4th December!) bringing to life the gallery’s entrance with a captivating and colour-enthused projection. Rupert will also launch his stunning new menswear collection with Culture Label.

Curious to find out more we contacted Rupert earlier this week to find out more about his plans for LIF and how he creates his incredible projections..

So, you’re currently preparing for The London Illustration Fair – can you tell us about the projection artwork you’ve made for the event and what inspired you to get involved?

I have designed a very special ‘kaleidoscope meets animal print’ range of visuals that constantly morph from one design to the next. People are able stand in them too – a great photo opportunity!

Culture Label inspired me to get involved – they are exhibiting at the show.

Butterfly Print by Rupert Newman for Culture Label

LIF opens networks for many up and coming creatives – it’s a great platform to both exhibit and view work. We don’t often have the chance to see this type of work in the flesh – these days so much of it is digital, so let’s enjoy that!

For our readers who may not know, can you share the story of where you grew up, what your early interests were and how you became a designer?

I grew up in Devon not far from the sea where the light and space has really inspired my work. I studied printed textiles at University College Falmouth, then at The Royal College of Art. It was here that I started projecting my printed designs, animating and mapping them onto different surfaces. When I left the Royal, I saw a gap in the market and started tailoring my projections for special events.

Projection mapping at various venues

Your work is characterised by geometric shapes, high contrast colour and line – how did this style develop?

I often look to art movements of the twentieth century for inspiration. Here I discovered the work of Lyonel Feininger, Mikhail Larionov and Kashmir Malevich. These artists are concerned as I am with creating space within composition by using contrasting colours and juxtaposing shapes. I am then able to transpose their vision by projecting it into buildings.

Can you talk us through your working process?

With my projections, firstly I meet with the client and discuss the brief. I then see the venue. The more you look the more you see, so I often stare at the proposed canvas, imagining how I can transform it with light. I then develop bespoke animated content with various computer software programs, so it’s ready for setting up and projection mapping at each event. All of my projects are reverse engineered – I work out how to achieve them before I begin the work.

Flamingo Print by Rupert Newman for Culture Label

2015 has been an incredibly busy year for you – any highlights you’d like to share?

I was luckily enough to illuminate a wonderful organ in the Guildhall, Cambridge for a Halloween party. It made a spectacular canvas. I also transformed a French chateau for an amazing 10 minute show with sound at a wedding. I illuminated the Freemasons Hall for the Brits After Party, and even gave someone a religious experience when they were engulfed by light and sound in the chapel at The House of St. Barnabas, Soho.

Can you tell us about your new menswear label Culture Label? What can LIF visitors expect to see?

This is an exciting collaboration that aims to bring a bit of colour and sophisticated fun to the fashion accessories market. My scarf is a geometric take on two loved up flamingos, facing each other to make a heart. And for men I have designed a small scale leopard print tie / pocket square / cufflinks – a unique and eye catching selection.

Flamingo Scarf by Rupert Newman for Culture Label

Can you tell us anything about your current projects and upcoming events?

I am currently designing a special screen for a stage at a bespoke sci-fi themed night in Oxford. The musicians will be surrounded by ever changing live projections that will react to the sound – a real focal point within the club, and something that people are going to remember.

What kind of projects, collaborations, experiences do you hope to cultivate for yourself in the next few years?

Experience should be as immersive, and I have witnessed a positive emotional reaction in people at my shows. I want to take it to the next level. To do this I will have to collaborate with other professionals. Whether it be with other light designers, stage designers, 3D animators or pyromusical or pyrotechnical, the future is here and we have to embrace it!

The London Illustration Fair takes place from Friday 4th December, Saturday 5th December and Sunday 6th December, with a special launch party on Thursday 3rd December, 6pm – 9pm. Tickets on sale now, priced £5 – Buy here.


Posted on Nov 27th, 15 by | Twitter: @lisahassell

Founder & director of Inkygoodness, Lisa is a published writer and arts journalist, focusing on creative business, graphic art and illustration and design education. Her words regularly appear in Computer Arts, Creative Bloq, Digital Arts and IdN.

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