The story behind Penumbra revealed


The story behind Penumbra revealed

The 2011 Festival is set to premiere two new commissions, one entitled Penumbra: The Long and Peculiar Life Jimmy Strength by Gareth Hudson & Jack Burton, and the other entitled Maria by Darren Johnston, both with the support of Arts Council England.

Penumbra, referring to a partial shadow such as that which causes an eclipse, is a 3D animation created to be projected outdoors onto the face of the newly restored 250-year old Dewar’s Lane Granary building, using the latest in mapping technology.

The artists, County Durham based video artist Gareth Hudson (whose film Eventually screened at the Festival last year) and sound artist Jack Burton, were briefed to create a visual story about Berwick.

Chatting to artist Gareth today, he said "Beginning the research for "Penumbra" was a fairly simple task given the history of Berwick. We were keen to investigate local folklore and myth that followed in the vein of a fantasy epic that the theme of the festival suggests. We were surprised to find real characters that seemed to surpass our expectations for a sword and sorcery old-wives tale. Following the mystery of a missing statue of a figure known as "Jimmy Strength", we landed upon the focus of our video. What more can you ask of a protagonist than he be 115 years old with 26 children to his name? We have taken some liberties in telling his story, but the real unbelievable parts are the ones we were actually told, read or divined from tea leaves.”

The piece is a motion-graphic tale of Jimmy's life (and death, not to ruin it for you) which has been custom made for projection onto the Granary building.”

Penumbra: the Long and Peculiar Life of Jimmy Strength will be previewed at the Granary following the Opening Film, 9pm – 10pm on Friday 23rd September. It will continue to be projected as a looped installation each evening, free of charge, from 8pm – 10.30pm until Sunday 25th.

Gareth continues, “It's exciting to be involved in this years festival and to have the freedom to explore Berwick, pick up some stories, then make a kick-ass 3D projection animation out of them for everyone to gawk at. Brilliant. They paid us too."