A bit of background

Welcome… a lot of people ask me how I came to end up being a projection artist and creative producer. It would take a long time to share all the experiences I’ve had, but if you don’t mind the condensed version, read on, and I’ll share a little of my story.

I love the Flinders Ranges, and the far north of South Australia. I was born in the region and am magnetically called and connected to this place. I was very fortunate to grow up with life on properties with wide open spaces, animals around, and plenty of room to roam and explore. Being remote meant my early schooling was via school of the air, using radio and correspondence to talk to teachers and fellow students. I think this set me up to be an effective digital nomad and remote collaborator from a young age!

I confess I was addicted to drawing as a child, it felt wonderful to create with colour, dream up scenes, illustrate stories… in fact all I wanted to be was “an artist” before I even really understood what that meant. I spent my teens and twenties exploring illstration, art, film making and then took the plunge to develop skills in producing, directing and project management.

I worked full time in animation production and education as a team leader, with my broad background and hands on skills being an excellent resource, but increasingly I wanted to create my own work and explore the potential of new media. In 1997 I transitioned from being part time artist and film maker to being a full time artist and multimedia director, with all of the challenges of making a living from one’s creative passion. For ten years I fulfilled this keen passion, aligning my personal journey with the passion to create and experiment with digital media and projection art.

Primarily my work during this time were live performance, mixing and light painting using salvaged video mixers, to create rhythmic dances of light to accompany music performance. Highlights involved creating live visual art for performances at The Studio at the Sydney Opera House. The intensity of the performances was incredible and yet were lost so quickly in the passage of time, that eventually I looked for ways to adapt my skills and work on projects that were more sustainable and offered a longer lasting legacy for the work invested.

In 2007 I established illuminart, with aspirations of creating large performances and events that were bigger than what I could do alone. Initially the company was just myself with a couple of freelancers when needed, but it quickly grew beyond that.

I made it my mission to ensure that projection art and high powered technology would be used well and for the best outcomes for humanity and society, and that illuminart would be a flexible and family-centric workplace. This possibly may be a particularly feminist and feminine ideal that developed over the decades of working in a particularly male-dominated sector, but it has set illuminart apart and has helped us form a great team and workplace.

My role in illuminart is as a captain (setting the course of our craft); an ideas person and strategist; an evangelist for best practice; a producer/project leader; a mentor and consultant (to our team and to emerging artists in the projection artform); an executive producer of our in-house productions, and as a visual artist and creative director of a selection of our projects. As a producer, project leader and consultant I have provided the bridge between creative and technical worlds, community and stakeholder interests to navigate the very best possible outcomes for the projects.

Illuminart is a wonderful enterprise that has at its core, a mission for transformation through illumination, and has worked with presenters all around Australia on deeply moving projects that illuminate architecture and spaces whilst supporting a deeper process in the communities we are working with. My favourite projects have been those where I could help to shape decisions that were made on a larger scale, by allowing conversations or helping to influence decisions. In other ways, illuminart and my team and I, help build work that has longevity and is meaningful. We build things that last, we look after permanent installations and help build and grow audiences. We take pride in what we do and love helping others. Maybe I am just ever so satisfied that the ephemeral, can make a difference!

Over the decade and a bit of working at illuminart my role has changed, and is becoming increasingly less hands on as the team grows. So I have creative avenues outside of the main company business to write and create digital art, more for my own sake than for the career ambitions.

I also do a lot of advising and supporting others. As a consultant I support individuals and organisations to grow new projects and opportunities for artists and communities, sometimes taking on a role as director or creative producer and often also just taking a role of guide and mentor. My skills and knowledge have been in demand, as an artist, educator, technologist and designer. I am lucky to be “really good at loads of things” which helps me to appreciate the work that others do, to make their project a success.

I am idealistic and passionate about the role of artists as dynamic creative shapers of new ideas and possibilities. I live and love to collaborate and generate exciting public sharing of art and culture.

In parallel with steering the good ship illuminart, I help my partner build a house. Also, I draw, write and create moving image under my own name and a few psuedonyms.

au.linkedin.com/in/cindidrennan (my linkedin profile)
illuminart.com.au (illuminart’s home page)