The Sequence Group
When Arterial Design successfully tendered to deliver an exhibition at the new Waltzing Matilda Museum in Winton in Central Queensland, they quickly developed the concept of The Billabong, a large immersive art installation representing a place of story, which became the centerpiece of the exhibition space.
Jan Nowell, Arterial’s Creative Director said, "The stories developed over time. With many community consultations and visits to the site we were able to engage with the place and its people. Slowly we got a sense of what made this land so unique and were able to start bringing these stories to life."
The physical Billabong installation, designed and developed by Nick Lawson, Arterial's Senior Designer and Project Manager, is made of a silicone tube curtain. The material was carefully chosen in order to carry light from the exterior projection and radiate the imagery through to the interior space of the structure. A reflective ceiling and floor extended the imagery well beyond the 4m high tubes. The objective was to produce a totally immersive and a highly evocative visitor experience.
The next challenge for Arterial was to find an animation company that could capture Jan’s vision with the sensibility and poetry that she envisioned. Jan said, "The images and the treatment of the images were based on mental concepts - I wanted to touch reality, but then break it apart to capture its power and magical transient qualities in the process. It required a specific understanding to translate these ideas into the final visual representation. This was not easy.
"We interviewed many companies and tested out visual responses from a few. There are some excellent animators in Melbourne, which made the decision tough, but the day we met Luke Bicevskis and Melissa Benavides in our studio, sparks flew. I was very excited but nervous too. I had a very clear vision but knew it required a special kind of creative brain to both capture that and bring their own edge as well. Luke and his team were the ones."
Lead by Creative Director Luke Bicevskis, The Sequence Group team combined 2D, 3D and traditional animation techniques to achieve a balance between visual abstraction and narrative.
Luke said, "Arterial had spent a considerable amount of time working with the Winton community to develop a concept that captures the beauty of the land that Banjo Patterson conveyed so perfectly in his poetry. We felt a great responsibility to realise this vision. Combined with Sonar’s emotive sound design and composition, and Dean’s expertise in projection mapping, we produced something that we are all very proud of being a part of."
Arterial’s concept for The Billabong meant they needed to consider new technical and physical approaches to the anmation. Also because the physical structure did not exist at the time of production, The Sequence Group built a custom playback system for the HTC Vive, which replicated the physical space virtually. This assisted in creative development and facilitated client reviews.
The final five animated stories play with 12-minute intervals between them. They are projected via an 8-projector rig onto the silicone rod curtain. In conjunction with a moving soundscape, the animations envelop the viewer to create a truly sensory experience.
Creative Director & Lead CG - Luke Bicevskis
Executive Producer - Melissa Benavides
3D Animator - Neil Van Vuuren
3D Animator - Cameron Stewart
Experiential and Exhibition Design - Arterial Design
Director, Creative Director - Jan Nowell
Associate Director, Project Manager - Nick Lawson
Soundscape - Luke Mynott, Sonar Sound
Projection Mapping and Show Control System - Dean Stevenson
Construction & Installation - Show Works
Hardware - Rutledge AV