Our season brochure for autumn is out now and if you've managed to get your hands on a copy already you'll probably have noticed that the front cover has a brand new look and feel. Lighthouse artistic producer. Stephen Wrentmore worked with photographer Richard Budd to create and execute the concept, and we hope you like the result!
Stephen tells us more about the process here ...
"The inspiration from the get go was to create a powerful, playful, and arresting image. It was driven by two thoughts; firstly that we are an arts centre and we should work with an artist to create a whole look that capture the spirit of who we are rather than piece together a jigsaw of little show images to give an indication of what you might see. Secondly, that as Lighthouse has evolved since our capital project so too have our thoughts on programming and we wanted to express some of that confidence and presence on the brochure cover.
We shot three looks, all completely different, with the same model, Josie. I wanted to get a sense of energy and dynamic. We had looked at colour bomb pictures using exploding powder paint, but we knew that had been done before so really that was a departure point. Richard had got smoke to try and I wanted to create an empty space and add the autumn colours so that they were the strongest feature. I also wanted the picture to be about people but not a person, if that makes sense, so it was important to have a person(s) in it but that he or she were not identifiable. This brochure has a lot of demands on it - not least that it travels from summer to winter and contains a vast amount of information. So in reality, the inspiration was to create an image that helped people pick it off the shelf to look at what it is and what’s inside. Over the last couple of season guides we have started to lead with a single image and I hope this progression where we create the content is, for the moment, a bold way of telling our story.
Of the three shoots the one eventually used for the cover was by far the messiest. We set up a white wall and plastic sheeting on the floor and using non-toxic water colour paint to cover our brave and delightful model in the areas the photo would capture. We had warned Josie before that this was our intention and she was amazing during the process. We created a white base with paint then using thicker lines we highlighted the bone structure and highlight points. Richard had brought these ridiculous mirrored shades to the shoot – which look amazing in the picture - and a bag of autumn leaves. We then tried various permutations of me throwing leaves from behind, blowing them with a fan and dropping them from above. In the end our most successful shot was created by Josie holding a huge bunch of leaves in each hand and throwing them towards the camera. What it did was not only give the leaves energy but committed her emotionally to a gesture.
The process is not just about trial and error but also having a framework in which you play and then allowing the process of play to inform your journey rather than rigorously sticking to the plan. So for example, the plan involved the clothes, the paint and the leaves but not how they would all come together. In all my creative work it is the possibilities that you create in a situation (serendipity) that develops the thing of value. What goes ‘wrong’ in the moment might be the ‘right’ you need for later. So ultimately, these moments, like the one we captured, were about creating the environment and atmosphere to play and then trusting our instinct. From Richard there was another layer of thinking which was that it is better to capture the image in the moment rather than using technology to create it after. What I loved about this approach was it made the capturing of the image a collective, collaborative experience rather than a functional process of material gathering to be edited together later. As a theatre-maker this really connects to my sensibility and allowed everyone in the room, including members of the marketing team, and Alex, our costume intern (who was working on The Drive with Angel Exit in the studio), to participate and contribute."
Photography: Richard Budd