- 7 May 2023
- 5 minutes
At the Coronation Concert, a series of creative artworks and animated shorts from 20 RCA students were projected onto Windsor Castle and a giant LED screen above the stage, providing a scenic vision of a starry night sky for a dramatic interpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, performed to 20,000 guests and broadcast live around the world on the BBC. The visuals formed a colourful backdrop to accompany the track ‘Somewhere’ from West Side Story in a performance featuring Ncuti Gatwa and Mei Mac.
The Royal College of Art joined forces with The Royal College of Music, The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera, and the Royal Shakespeare Company for the first time to produce this unique creative collaboration combining art, music, dance, and theatre in honouring their Royal Patron, His Majesty.
RCA students were commissioned to create special artwork for the concert marking the coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Founded in 1837, the RCA is the world’s leading postgraduate university of art and design and welcomes students from across the globe. King Charles III is the RCA’s Royal Visitor; his late father, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh served as the College’s Royal Visitor for some fifty years.
Taking inspiration from nature to produce their vision of a starry night sky, the students incorporated a variety of creative motifs such as dazzling rivers of stars, serene forests, tranquil oceans, and erupting volcanoes to convey new beginnings, love and unity.
Details of the students and their chosen artworks:
MA Visual Communication student Hannah Waterman is a multidisciplinary visual communicator from London, with a background in graphic design and illustration. Inspired by the joyful, frenetic strokes of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and by beautiful Norfolk sunsets, her piece looks to invoke feelings of peace, serenity, and comfort.
Isha Ghaisas is a Graphic Designer from India who studies MA Service Design. She enjoys depicting the simple joys of life and the magic in the mundane, the two coming together in her artwork of a pair stargazing against a breathtaking backdrop, overwhelmed by the beauty of nature, feeling humbled and connected.
MA Digital Direction student Hadar Vishne breaks away from her background of 3D animation, motion graphics and digital aesthetics, instead incorporating simulated hand-drawn watercolours and components of classic hand-drawn animation.
Fanghui Li studies MA Information Experience Design and her curiosity for new things and ability to explore the world around her inspires her creative work. For the Coronation Concert, she depicts a butterfly fairy bathing under a starry sky evoking a sense of contemplation about her own fate.
MA Fashion student Clement Rye is a multidisciplinary artist from Wales whose work explores the intersection of textiles, sculpture, and fashion, exploring themes of identity and space. Using a combination of hand-painted watercolours and digital techniques, his piece captures the essence of the night sky.
MA Architecture student Cheryl Wong is a multidisciplinary creative whose artwork features a colourful burst of stars and clouds that signify new beginnings through love and unity. Sunrise-coloured hues of pinks, yellow and orange clouds weave through the starry night sky to communicate an endless array of possibilities and optimism.
MA Contemporary Art Practice student Ashraf Malek is a contemporary artist from Egypt who creates expanded paintings that explore notions of diversity, culture and spatial realms. His work uses both traditional and digital mediums to blur conventional boundaries of space connecting us with the infinite realm celebrating the journey rather than the destination.
MA Textiles student and AI artist Zheng Yuan, from China, incorporates the flourishing of life and the constant renewal of nature into his design for the Coronation Concert.
MA Animation student Adriana Scalisi is a digital artist from Italy with a background in graphic design. Through this animated work, she depicts the cyclical process of water, from rain to river to sea and back again, highlighting the never-ending flow of life.
This artwork by MA Information Experience Design student Liangqia Huang from China creates a dialogue between the starry sky and its observers, symbolising the flow of an unseen force through magnificent planets and dazzling rivers of stars.
Chinese artist Shiqi Sha who studies MA Moving Image depicts paths of stars crisscrossing in intricate patterns to explore the concept of destiny or a larger plan or purpose to which we are all connected.
MA Contemporary Art Practice student Yula Kim, from South Korea, is inspired by the role of nature in today's society and for the Coronation Concert created a sky view with natural colours from galaxies to visualise love and unity.
As founders of Orbital Bloom, German-Israeli artist Shira Wachsmann and Palestinian-Iraqi-American artist Dr Ameera Kawash are developing a digital garden that expresses the energy performance of buildings. They adapted their nature-inspired language for the concert to create a thriving digital ecosystem that inspires hope and care for our shared planetary future.
MA Information Experience Design student Rong Shi is a Chinese new media artist who designs interactive installations and immersive experiences. Her work depicts Romeo in the foreground, with the use of celestial imagery to reinforce the idea of a story of epic proportions determined by larger cosmic forces.
Taiwanese new media artist and motion graphic designer Yueh Huang who is studying MA Visual Communication, has created a poetic vision for the concert focusing on depicting emotions with a dominant use of cool tones.
MA Visual Communication student Jiachun Hu is an illustrator and artist who uses soft, gentle, and intuitive marks in her creative process. Her design features Romeo and Juliet dancing together in a romantic scene, which is set against the backdrop of erupting volcanoes that serve as fireworks.
Intrigued by AI’s ‘deep dive’ into the collective archive of memories, artists and MA Contemporary Art Practice students Yijia Wu and Ziwei Lu created a work that acts as an intimate conversation between us and technology.
South Korean visual artist and MA Information Experience Design student Yun Hyeong Park explores the connection between language and visual representation by depicting the moment of the King's Coronation as a bright early morning, with gold accents shining against a blue sky.
MA Digital Direction student Junyi Huang is a video game artist and fashion illustrator from China. His piece synthesises classical fashion illustration techniques and regal motifs weaving together interlaced stars, serene forests, tranquil oceans, and crystal-clear skies.
MA Painting student Shafina Jaffer is an abstract spiritual artist from Tanzania who is inspired by nature and impermanence. Her Coronation artwork depicts celebration, joy and dancing through the infinite cosmos of the finite under the auspices of a moon.
“This historic moment was an incredible opportunity for RCA students to showcase their creative talents to a global audience and to collaborate with other Royal institutions in a unique celebration. The RCA is committed to the development of the next generation of artists and designers and we are honoured to have participated in this historic occasion.”Vice-Chancellor, Royal College of Art
“The Coronation Concert is an amazing opportunity for our students to showcase their talents to the world. There was a rich variety of responses from the students across all of our four schools, working in a range of media and materials. The work is aspirational and diverse, and I'm so impressed at the quality of work that the students have been able to produce in such a short time.”Assistant Dean (Education) in the School of Communication, Royal College of Art