We were asked to provide major set-pieces for the opening ceremony for Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture. The ceremony was to mark the start of Ireland’s largest and most complex cultural festival ever held, with a year of events programmed across the region. Unfortunately, storm Ciara forced the cancellation of what would have been an inspiring and dramatic fire-themed ceremony.
We created two major scenic pieces: the 12 metre wing-spanned Phoenix and the 6m diameter Star Wheel. Created from a lattice of laser-cut steel plate and with a bronze-painted GRP sculpted head, the Phoenix swooped across the stage on a double catenary rigged between two tower cranes. Wrapped in paper rope and ignited, the phoenix was designed to deliver a dramatic flight.
The Star Wheel was also fabricated from steel and included twelve acrylic star-shaped light boxes mounted on long spokes radiating from the wheel’s central pivot. Each star was lit from within by battery powered LEDs while pyrotechnics mounted to the exterior enabled the star to spin like a giant Catherine wheel, propelling it along the catenary. Additional works included providing a scenic finish for the proscenium arch and a large 2m-high heart prop. Find out more about Galway2020 events here.