This Sunday’s Citadel festival in London has been hyped by a dreamy series of posters and launch animations in the lead-up. Behind the campaign is Jennifer Heale, lead designer at the festival, who worked together with animator Andrew Khosravani on the films for 2017, bringing the event’s collaged, space-inspired artwork to life.
“This year we chose to focus on an intergalactic journey,” says Jennifer. “Looking at London and how it’s ever changing and shifting, it seemed topical. Drawing inspiration from Nasa Ames Research Centre illustrations of how colonies would live in the stars, I wanted to produce a series of scenes showing ‘Citadel in the Stars’. Space is really in everyone’s minds at the moment as a form of escapism, which is also what a festival should offer.
“Building on the collage work I did last year, we sourced lots of images from science journals and magazines, mixing this with spray-painted textures and tiny bits of hand drawing. I wanted everything to feel familiar while still strange.
“For the videos with Andrew, I wanted the travel element to be a series of wormholes through different space scenes. A journey through space wouldn’t necessarily be straightforward so I wanted to reflect that in the transitions.
Andrew explains: “When we first started talking about the Citadel videos and what we wanted to achieve, I immediately thought of an animated version of an Odilon Redon painting. Something that felt dreamy, magical and beautiful.
“We used lots of textures to try and replicate that feeling of depth in his paintings and lots of pinks and violets too. It was a really interesting way of working as Jennifer provided some really amazing old images that had such fantastic grains and textures to them. Usually I draw a lot and don’t often use collage so it was great to experiment with something new.
“The movement is quite simple in the sense that it is just a zoom forward, but as we go through each universe we discover another one with its own unique colours and landscapes. This gives the animation its sense of depth and space.”