Stage One

Adding some light to a very dark year

If this year has taught us anything, it is that projects will either lurk in the shadows for months or hit us square between the eyes without warning. We first started seeing project postponements and cancellations in February this year. This was an industry wide phenomenon and very quickly we saw the flow of new opportunities dry up almost completely.

Tendering, re-tendering, re-scoping, de-scoping, postponement and abandonment have been the rhythm of much of this year. 2020 has been outstanding in its brutality, not just to our business but to the whole of the creative industries sector.

But amongst these gloomy months have been beacons of brilliance. Projects that have landed without warning, have flown through the workshops and been delivered on site in an astonishing blur.

Es Devlin’s artistic direction and creative vision for the UAE National Day ‘The Seeds of the Union’ show and legacy art installation is a giant kinetic sculpture that ‘floats’ above the mangroves on Jubail Island in Abu Dhabi. Stage One was commissioned by LarMac Projects to create this work as part of the UAE’s 49th National Day celebrations. In collaboration with Piers Shepperd of Wonder Works we designed and delivered a 15m tall rotating cube that provided a projection surface for a visually arresting story of the rich heritage and future of the United Arab Emirates.

This was a project that would ordinarily require twelve weeks development in our workshops. Instead, we worked around the clock to manufacture and assemble the structure and surfaces of the giant cube in just over three weeks.

Weighing in at over 100 tonnes, the cube was erected on a concrete base in a reclaimed area of the sea. The cube sat atop a revolve powered by six motors and was controlled by our Qmotion automation system. Encoders allowed a signal to be passed to PRG’s projection team allowing razor-sharp and accurate mapping of content across the rotating surface. Perhaps most impressive of all, the tide was then let into the reclaimed area beneath the cube making for a perfectly poetic reflection of the kinetic artwork throughout the after-dark performance.

This project has been a brilliant collaboration amongst some of the very best in the creative ceremonies world. We feel very privileged to have added some light to what would otherwise have been a very dark year indeed.