MSL Projects well-known across the UK as a producer specialising in outdoor and participatory arts, including the stunning ‘Pi Leau’, staged in Hastings in 2012 to rave reviews, has branched out into the digital world with an exciting new venture. MSL Digital is a new company formed to exploit opportunities in the heritage and tourism sectors; making use of arts disciplines to bridge the gap between traditional visitor information services and new mobile web and app solutions.
With start up funding from SUCCESS MSL Digital aims to offer high quality digital content about people, places, historical eras, topical commemorations (WW1, 1066 etc) in a way that makes it easy to update, re-write, add-value to existing tourism-focused information.
With the support of the SUCCESS fund, MSL Digital produced the first part of the Centenary project, commemorating the start of World War One with the ‘Long Weekend’ installation in Dover between August and December 2014. Two apps, using Augmented Reality (AR) and CGI opened out a narrative based on detailed research about Dover in 1914. With two further grants from the Arts Council, MSL has been able to undertake work on a new phase of this project ‘Business As Usual’, which picks up the story in 1915 and is focused on a house and its residents – allowing us to see into the world of real people coping with the war.
A further grant from the Arts Council is now funding research and development of another project in association with the University of Kent. Tate à Tate is a walk through history from Tate Britain to Tate Modern. Designed and led by Adrian Chappell, associate producer at MSL, it is a self-guided walking tour along the north and south banks of the Thames, tracking along Millbank via Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster Abbey, Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge then onto the South Bank via the Royal Festival Hall, National Theatre, ITV studios, Blackfriars Bridge before arriving at Tate Modern on Bankside.
The route is marked by a number of important historical landmarks. As a ‘snapshot’ of social and political reform over the past 200 years, they present one of the richest seams in recent GB history. Themes covered, for example, include health and welfare reform, suffrage and emancipation, prison reform, ‘surveillance society’ and anti-slavery reform, as well as commemorative and celebratory events such as the 1951 Festival of Britain.
At the same time, MSL Projects has, with partners Fabrica in Brighton, won substantial backing from the Baring Foundation for a spectacular, new sculptural work, ‘Luminary’, to be created by British artist Ron Haselden. Comprising twelve, ten metre high ‘light’ drawings of older people, ‘Luminary’ will have an indoor element at Fabrica gallery (April-May 2016) and an outdoor element on the streets of Brighton during the 2016 Festival (7-29 May). We plan to take Luminary to one other UK location in 2016, and to tour it more widely beyond that.
The title, Luminary, combines two ideas in one: literally that the artwork itself will emit light, and metaphorically that older people influence, inspire and bring knowledge to the rest of society. Beyond creating a beautiful artwork that all ages will be able to enjoy, we see Luminary as a way to highlight the commentary, creativity and value to society of the older person and to bring in a wider debate about the experience of ageing in the UK.
If you would like to know more about any of these projects please get in touch with us on: