creating precision light and control


St John the Baptist’s Church is a dramatic site with a fascinating heritage. This permanent projected installation is composed of a series of textual fragments which describe the city of Chester in English, Latin and Welsh. Medieval Chester was a multi-cultural city with a rich multi-lingual tradition which these texts reflect. As the words are projected across the uneven, fractured stonework, they take on new shapes and abstract visual forms. Some letters and words remain legible and open up ideas and themes of reflection, asking viewers to contemplate subjects such as ruin, decay and survival, the passing of time and the question of spirit and place.
This installation demonstrates the precision and flexibility JAL-MAXI_W instrument. Of the sixteen fittings, four are used to create scenes that subtly model the ruins through a very precise use of light and shadow. Twelve fittings are used to project the hand drawn images of the texts, which were sourced and identified with academic Dr Catherine Clarke.
To create a successful balance between the artwork and the ambient lighting we worked closely with Chester Street Lighting. By coordinating the positions of the lighting poles we achieved an evenly lit pavement without compromising the projections. Additionally we subtly masked off the spill light from the street lanterns, creating darkness across the ruins to heighten the contrast of the images.

Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist, Chester Vicar’s Lane,
Chester CH1 1SN

key technical information