Partnering with specialist collaborators in science, light, film, sound and projection mapping, NEC Display Solutions provided laser projection technology in the creation of BEAM, an immersive and multi-sensory experience which took place at the Glastonbury Festival recently.

The Greenpeace field at the Glastonbury Festival hosts innovative ways to raise awareness for environmental issues. This year, Nottingham artist Wolfgang Buttress, famed for his Hive sculpture in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, highlighted the plight of the honey bee with a multi-sensory, immersive sculptural experience.

“I am delighted with the NEC laser projectors that are being used in BEAM. They have been essential in creating a multi-sensory experience which highlights the existential challenges facing the honey bee,” explains Wolfgang. “I wanted to use the best technology available to create a sense of magic and wonder. The projectors have helped make this happen.” 

Visitors entered the 30m diameter woodland pavilion through numerous pathways lined by tree trunks and wildflowers leading to an 11m wide hexagonal clearing. The internal space was surrounded by 3.5m high wooden lenticular screens to create a fully immersive experience. Vibration sensors were used to measure the activity of the black bee colonies living on Michael Eavis’ Worthy Farm at Glastonbury. These live signals will be sent to the sculptural installation, called BEAM, and expressed through light and sound.

At night, the space was filled with 360° projections from 12 x NEC PX1004UL laser projectors animating the walls of the clearing with footage from bee hives with high definition film, MRI and thermal imagery. 

“Our laser projectors provide the robust performance needed for powerful delivery of this breathtaking showpiece,” says Graham Kirkpatrick, technical solutions architect, NEC Display Solutions “We are delighted to be working closely with consultants Hoare Lea on another fantastic Wolfgang Buttress project following our involvement in his award-winning Hive sculpture at Kew Gardens in 2016.”

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