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Thu 5 Aug 2010, by Aled
Watershed placement student Aled Chivers looks at the international success of Luke Jerram's work.
With Studio resident Luke Jerram taking his project 'Play Me, I'm Yours' to Belfast and Cincinnati this August it seems a good time to look back over his success. During his time at the studio Luke has brilliantly innovated interesting and beautiful concepts and brought them to fruition. Since his first contact with Watershed in 2007, commissioned by the Clark Bursary, Luke continues to push boundaries at the juncture of science, art and technology.
‘Dream Director’, Luke’s Clark Bursary study, investigated the influence of sound on people’s dreams. In Bristol the project for which Luke is probably best known also invited the public to get involved. ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’, placed pianos all around the city to give “musicians... who don’t have access to a piano to play, and yet they’ve had that training [the opportunity to] express themselves”. Studying this in itself explores “everyone else’s creativity” rather than Luke’s own, very much in the same vein as ‘Dream Director’. The video below, commissioned by the Bristol City Council, gives some more insight into this event.
Luke explains that the project was inspired by the lack of conversation between punters in a launderette and the notion that perhaps throwing a piano into the mix could help to break the ice and bring strangers together. As you can see from the video, this was often the case.
‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ has had global success since it started touring in 2008 and was launched in New York by Mayor Bloomberg in June 2010. The event was awarded public arts project of the year and was presented simultaneously in London to help celebrate the City of London Festival.
For 21 Piano Nocturne Luke collaborated with composer Richard Causton to commemorate the bicentenary of Polish composer Chopin.The short film was shot by Benji Croce.