Vivid-inspired digital art project lights up historic primary school

Vivid-inspired digital art project lights up historic primary school

October was Illuminated Art month at StarTime Studios! After six weeks, the Vivid-inspired multimedia digital art project we’d run at Paddington Public School in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, culminated in a spectactular evening of animated light projections depicting students’ hopes and dreams for a sustainable future.

While Vivid Sydney, the immersive annual Winter festival of lights, projections, music, and ideas, is now an institution in Sydney, Illuminated Art, which featured artworks and animations created by children, for children, is an Australian-first and StarTime’s brainchild. 

Set against the backdrop of one of the 166-year old school’s original sandstone buildings, the screening, a collaboration between the school and StarTime, transformed the dark of night into a magical atmosphere of storytelling through art, colour, music, and light. 

In the 6 weeks prior, students across all year groups collaborated to establish ideas for their animations based on environmental themes that linked to the Science syllabus and outcomes, determining in groups how to represent those links to their learning intentions. 

They created ‘traditional’ artworks – drawings on paper – to depict scenes and stories that were important to them, before transferring them into digital format. Then, harnessing the power of digital applications such as FlipaClip, Foley sound effects, and voice overs, their characters were brought to life as animations before being prepared for projection by the team from StarTime.

Through their collective troubleshooting, problem-solving, and creativity, participants were able to achieve outcomes that often take weeks of guidance and exploration. Some students in Years 5 and 6 created animations that comprised almost 1,000 frames. Even Kindergarten kids created animations comprising up to 150 frames in a single day!  

“Empowering children with the means to get their message out to the world, share their ideas about things they’re passionate about, and applying technology to creative storytelling, that’s what this is all about,” said StarTime’s co-founder and CEO, Lindsay Moss.

“What’s exciting about the medium of projection is that through art, colour, music, and light, it can happen on a grand scale and so is really impactful. By projecting onto the venue itself (in this case the school’s own buildings) we’re really able to bring school or other communities together to celebrate children’s creativity. These are memories that will stick with them for life!”

The project had the full support of Paddington Public School Principal, Lisa Larkin, who said:  “Because I trust implicitly the creative vision of our STEAM teacher, Peter Kardasis, and our long-term incursion partners, StarTime, I was able to embrace the project wholeheartedly and was fully committed to ensuring it was integrated into the curriculum.”

StarTime is now preparing to roll the Illuminated Art program out to as many children as possible across the country, including school holiday and outside of school hours (OOSH) providers, corporate organisations, charities, even hospitals.

Co-founder Jo Moss is looking to the future: “Just like we have film festivals for young people to showcase their creative work, our bold vision is for a national festival for children of all ages’ projected art, ‘Vivid-style’. Like the artworks themselves, we’re excited to help young people bring that to life.”