After Dark is the contemporary light installation that has taken over Chiswick House & Gardens this winter. We caught up with the team behind it to give you an insight into what goes into putting an event like this on and a little more about the people. Tickets are still on sale and the event is with how until 30th December and runs every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Who are the team behind After Dark?
A collective of events professionals who have worked with an award-winning Richmond-based events agency for the past few years came together to form After Dark. This team of event specialists includes two local Chiswick girls – Sophie and Naomi – born and bred within a stone’s throw from the estate.
Meet the team…
Jennifer Davidson, Director of After Dark, has lived and breathed events for over a decade. Her passion for events and experiences was the initial driver for After Dark.
Sumee Holloway, After Dark Production Director, started out in event lighting over 20 years ago, she has specialised in production management on complex, live projects and brings together elements for the event including the build and de-rig.
Naomi Edmonds, one of two After Dark Producers, is an experiential events expert. She has produced some of the largest brand activations for global names like Nike.
Sophie Lemm, the second After Dark Producer, has produced festivals on Granary Square for 30,000 visitors and has also worked with global brand, Nike. Her experience of managing challenges with events open to the elements is ideal for After Dark.
- What gave you the inspiration for After Dark?
When we found out that Chiswick House & Gardens were looking for a new winter event, we couldn’t wait to get stuck as we all have a passion for events like this but wanting to do something new. After Dark is about escaping the city and enjoying an event that leaves you feeling relaxed.
- Do you all have a favourite installation?
Yes – it’s funny how you can work on an event like this with a team and all end up having a different favourite part!
Sumee: Vortex – this LED sculpture contains 50 fragmented steel poles with a LED fascia, arranged in a circle with an inner and outer perspective, constantly looping and evolving.
Jennifer: the Moon – this huge moon is designed to show the crater shadows and bright highlands, exceptionally close to NASA imagery.
Sophie: Chiswick House – Nick Gray, Lighting Designer, and his friend Sergio Pizzorno of Kasabian have produced a four-and-a-half minute light show, using Chiswick house as a canvas. Serge’s track is inspired by this year’s beautiful autumnal season and the vocals you hear are all his own.
Naomi: Lasers from the bridge – a laser installation from the classic bridge stretches the length of the water whilst touching the trees and giving amazing holographic reflections.
- The moon is a picture we have seen lots on Facebook and Instagram and is such an impressive installation, what goes into getting a Moon that size into a Grade I listed garden?
We’re lucky that the Moon installation didn’t need to go through the house itself – otherwise we would have really struggled. We use lighting specialists for all installations so, honestly, we didn’t have to worry too much about any of them being set up – including the stunning moon.
- What is so special about Chiswick House & Gardens as a backdrop to After Dark?
Because we designed After Dark to complement the architecture and beauty of this national treasure, it is simply the location which makes it so special. The illuminated trail transforms the beautiful natural parkland, giving visitors the chance to enjoy Chiswick in a whole new light.
- Apart from seeing the amazing installations and the gardens lit up at night what can people do at the event?
Visitors are loving the light trail but they are also raving about the activities set up by Hackney Arts. The activities, suitable for all ages, and with no prior experience, include ‘Screen Print Your Own Wrapping Paper’ and ‘Decorate a Set of Christmas Baubles’. While the children (including some mum and dad-sized kids) enjoy the Christmas crafts, the adults can grab a glass of hot apple cider. All inside the walled gardens, some of London’s best street-food traders have some great seasonal specials for you to enjoy.
- Why should people come to After Dark?
Back in the 18th Century informal landscaping was a revolution in design and a complete break from tradition. The creation of Chiswick Gardens marked the start of the English Landscape Movement and still today the Chiswick House and Gardens Trust is continuing to break new ground by welcoming the After Dark concept.
Inspired by this year’s beautiful autumnal season, both the music and the lighting concept bring warmth and space to the trail. All set in a breath-taking setting with delicious food and drink aplenty, After Dark is perfect for the family, friends, office parties or partners looking to dial up their date night.
Ticket are still on sale and can be bought at: www.after-dark.co.uk – don’t miss out, the event is only here until the 30th December 2018.