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Jonathan Park

For a man who has been at the forefront of innovative show design and creative direction for 30 years, the 21st century Park is very much alive with new ideas and keen to forge into uncharted territories with his art.

Park is well known for his inspirational creative collaborations with Mark Fisher - which started in 1977 when they met at the Architectural Association in London, where Park was lecturing.

Their mind-boggling and elaborate set design and show direction established bands like Pink Floyd at the forefront of the stadium rock visual spectacular. Fisher Park designs always had a sense of depth, of hallucinogenic enormity and a surreal sense of humour. As well as Floyd at their most potent, Fisher Park went on to work with a series of other clients with the vision, budget and determination to broaden the viewing horizons of their audiences. These great Fisher Park creations include Jean Michele Jarre's Concerts in China and tours for the Rolling Stones, U2, George Michael, Tina Turner, Bryan Adams, Simply Red and many more.

After 17 fruitful years, the partnership split in 1994. The writing was on the wall for the stadium rock bands and Park was looking at exploring different and new expressive directions.

His first big show as Studio Park was designing the VE and VJ celebrations in 1995 in Hyde Park and Horseguards working alongside director Major Michael Parker. Park's emotive visuals for the event included show-stopping projections onto the side of the Horseguards building - 150 metre wide, 15 metre high - using ETC Audiovisual equipment. Later he was honoured to create the immense 50 Year "Parade of History" down the Mall in celebration of the Queen's Jubilee in 2002. A year later he followed that with the colourful and mad pageant "Fabulous F.I.S.H." through the streets of Dublin for the famous St Patrick's Day Parade.

His involvement in the realm of Dance theatre includes designs for the highly successful productions 'Lord of the Dance' and 'Feet of Flames' for Michael Flatley.

One of Park's most ambitious architectural projects has been the lighting of the massive disused Meiderich steelworks, Duisburg, Germany's heavily industrialised Ruhrgebiet. The three-year project was part of a regeneration programme which has transformed the steelworks into a landscaped public space, complete with theatre and entertainment areas. Park loved the 'fantastic industrial landscape' of the place, which included giant blast furnaces, chimneys, turbines, a gasometer and kilometres of pipework. Dramatically lit at night and seen from afar, it is now a European Heritage site.

Another architectural project is Ferropolis or "City of Steel" constructed from giant excavators in an abandoned opencast mine near Leipzig. Now a satellite and much visited project of Hannover Expo 2000 and since, also becoming a European Heritage site.

Their many corporate clients include giant German publishing house Bertlesmann, Mercedes, BMW, SAP and Sony PlayStation.

Studio Park's commitment to technology has always been ahead of its time. He has always been a great believer in producing, multi-textured environments and has pioneered the use of both analogue (hand painted) and digital large format slide projection. Currently this has moved on to the use of digital video in new and exciting contexts, particularly in the amazing 5:1 wide screen CGI backdrop in Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of "The War of the Worlds" and the transparent scenic screen in "THRILLER Live!", where the images morph in & out of the action and become part of the performance! The vast diversity of projects that Studio Park have been engaged on over the last fourteen years continues to draw them into new fields of creative and artistic direction.

Louise Stickland




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