Site Location: Jurassic Coast
Name: Michael Grubb
Can you tell us more about yourself, Michael?
My world as a Lighting Designer started back in 1998 after studying Product Design and then Three-Dimensional Design at Plymouth University. I have been a member of the SLL for a few years now, but this will be my first major contribution to the society.
Over the last 17 years I have been fortunate to work on a wide range of high profile projects, including Llandaff Cathedral, Titanic Belfast, Guinness Storehouse, Moscow Parks and the London 2012 Olympic Park.
In 2011 the Olympic Delivery Authority appointed me as its Learning Legacy Ambassador for Lighting. The programme consisted of around 50 events that ran between 2011-2012. The purpose of the Learning Ambassador’s was to showcase the lessons learned from the London 2012 construction period. The Learning Legacy programme finished in advance of the opening ceremony, but I have continued my association with the Olympic Park project by working on 5 ‘Legacy’ schemes – some of which are still on site.
In 2012 I was honored to be awarded UK Lighting Designer of the Year, and in 2013 I started my own Lighting Design practice, creatively named Michael Grubb Studio.
In 2013 I co-founded the RE:LIT project with Stuart Alexander, Senior Designer at Michael Grubb Studio. The ReLIT project is a charity initiative that works with manufacturers to take superseded, damaged and ex- demo lighting equipment from their shelves and make use of them in community projects.
I am extremely lucky to be supported by a strong team of creative individuals at Michael Grubb Studio, all of which are committed to the ethos of client engagement, collaboration, shared knowledge and new adventures – which is why we were so keen to support the Night of Heritage Lighting event.
Why did you want to be involved in NOHL?
Michael Grubb Studio is based in Bournemouth so the challenge of lighting a location along the Jurassic Coast was too good an opportunity to pass, but with over 100 miles of coastline the selection process was not an easy one. So as part of the process my team and myself took a daytrip along the route, stopping over at numerous locations to admire the landscape and seek out possible lighting opportunities. We finally agreed on Durdle Door, which is arguably the most complicated and isolated spot we visited (but we never make things easy for ourselves).
What are you plans for your NOHL site?
Our concept is to create a scene that is reminiscent of an impressionist painting by placing a person in a rowing boat under the iconic arch. We will then use a variety of lighting tricks, from a boat, to fill the arch with reflected light. Additional lighting from the shore will provide warmth to the landscape. All of which means we require a large boat that can hold lighting equipment, crew and designers. We are unable to rehearse in advance. We require coast guard approval and are completely reliant on good weather conditions – so what could possibly go wrong?