Simon Brockwell and Jaz Hewitt
UK - Robe is sponsoring a student bursary run by London, UK based lighting designer Simon Brockwell of design practice SBLD, that will enable him to take a lighting design assistant to work alongside him for the upcoming 2013 Vivid Sydney Festival of Light Music & Ideas in Australia.

Brockwell is presenting his interactive Nocturnal Pianola lighting installation and concept.

Robe's relationship with Brockwell goes back to when he was a lighting design / programming student at Rose Bruford College in Kent. When Nocturnal Pianola was selected as one of the works to be exhibited at the festival, he approached Robe to see if they were interested in getting involved in Vivid.

"Robe has never been about pushing the product - their emphasis is definitely on relationships," comments Brockwell. "As a lighting graduate, I know the importance of students to have opportunities provided by those already working in the industry, and this is something that Robe obviously clearly values."

Robe SRO's CEO Josef Valchar and Ashley Lewis, key account manager for film, theatre & TV from Robe UK in particular have been instrumental in making the Vivid bursary happen and in taking an interest generally in Brockwell's work.

Selecting a student to work with him in Australia for three weeks was a challenging task, and hewas inundated with applicants form virtually every performing arts college in the UK.

"The standard of applicants was incredibly high," he explains, which made it even harder. However, after examining all the CVs in detail and interviewing as many candidates as possible in person, he chose Jaz Hewitt, a first year lighting design student at the Central School of Speech & Drama in London.

"I wanted someone bright and talented who was not a known LD, didn't have any specific design credits and who'd not previously worked before with a major lighting company. Basically someone who was open to learning and self-development."

Jaz is delighted to have the opportunity and thrilled about the actual installation work and the way its interactivity can be developed. "I'm very excited about the placement - it's something artistic and different that stands out. It will be a very memorable experience".

As Nocturnal Pianola is a non-profit production undertaken by SBLD for cost, without Robe's help, taking an assistant LD and offering an aspiring new young designer this fantastic experience would have been out of the question.

The installation will run from 24 May 24th to 10 June on Sydney Harbour's Circular Quay.

(Jim Evans)

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