Nick Gray from UK-based Renegade Lighting designed lighting for the first Arise Magazine Fashion Week in Lagos, Nigeria.
This completely new and high profile event showcased creations from 50 designers from all over Africa and others with African roots who are working internationally. Staged over three days at the Tents Federal Palace Hotel, in addition to the 50 runway shows, the event featured live performances each evening by a selection of artists including Tinie Tempah, Estelle, d’banj and Keri Hilson plus the best local DJs. One evening also saw Arise Magazine present an awards show.
Nick Gray was asked onboard by show producers Bacchus, with whom he works on many fashion and style related events worldwide, including various London Fashion Week elements, to which his lighting designs have brought a fresh and unique approach and look.
“My brief was to produce a slick, sophisticated fashion-savvy lightshow that worked for all cameras and utilised the locally available equipment,” he said.
Two purpose-built temporary structures were erected in the hotel grounds for the event. Gray completed the design and specification, and a small quantity of lighting fixtures – primarily ETC Source Fours – was brought in specially from the UK.
His creative challenges included having to light the spaces largely with the tungsten lightsources available, and to accommodate all the live performances and awards as well as the all-important runway shows. The essence of the design was a clean, contemporary elegance, with wiring and other technical infrastructure all kept as concealed as possible.
The main space featured a long central T-shaped catwalk with a stage at one end and a reception area at the other. Running down both sides of the tent was a series of bars of 6-PARs, which were clamped to the metal substructure of the tent with half couplers after the inside of the tent had been fabric-lined for a neat finish.
An LED wall built in to the end of a T-shaped catwalk was an integral part of the set design, which the models walked up to and around.
The front lighting arrays at both ends of the catwalk comprised 24 Source Four profiles, and these were rigged on ground support systems. The same positions – and some of the lighting fixtures – were used to light the stage and the reception areas at their respective ends of the tent.
Additional lighting cover was provided with a selection of Martin Professional MAC 2K wash and profile moving lights, and for Tinie Tempah, Gray added some strobes and blinders.
The smaller space was lit by 24 PAR cans rigged on six upright sections of 12-inch truss.
“It was absolutely brilliant to be involved in something new with a real vibe and excitement, and also to be in Africa, where the experience of working with the local suppliers and crews was really rewarding,” said Gray. “While a bit of invention and lateral thinking with the design was required to maximise the available resources once on site, this kept me on my toes!”
In addition to the Source Fours, Gray brought over two Chamsys MagicQ PC based consoles and fader wings from the UK to programme and run the two lighting rigs, together with two of his own ‘right hand’ crew – Paulus van Heijkant who ran the desk for the main space, and Chris Fyfe, who was crew chief and console operator for the smaller space. Both are Renegade regulars.