Hart’s Mill re-animated
Port Adelaide’s Hart’s Mill has been centre stage for a few reasons over the years. Recently the iconic mill has again been in the spotlight, literally.
In 2014, Illuminart staged its classic Hart’s Mill story projection, in conjunction with a “foodie weekend” to open the inaugural farmers’ markets Wild At Hart.
From sunset, bright colourful lights, telling a visual story about the historic area, were splashed onto Hart’s Mill.
Cindi Drennan, who founded Illuminart in 2007, and her team: Lou Bennet (composer), Craig Laurendet (projection mapping) and Craig Williams (AV installation), rekindled a project they undertook in 2009.
Even before Illuminart bathed it in light, the Mill had been in the spotlight for another reason – developers had been eyeing it off with the intention of closing it from public use.
“The original show was created during a time of heated discourse between an activated community who wanted to preserve local heritage areas and create beautiful public spaces versus developers who were proposing to surround the Mill with dominating six-storey high apartments,” Cindi said.
“The community was eventually heard and a new vision was born. The new park around the base of the Mill is a great step towards making beautiful public space accessible to people.
“When you consider places like Sydney where so little is left – it’s all privately owned – it’s exciting and also important that people use and promote the new facility here and bring as many people to the Port to enjoy and make the most of it.
“Illuminart is beautiful and I hope that the people of Port Adelaide and beyond take great pride – and get behind the many new projects taking off in this area, from the produce markets to occasional events such as this one.”
The foodie weekend celebrated the completion of work transforming Hart’s Mill from an area of contention to a public precinct that recently successfully staged the Laneway Festival and is now open for all to enjoy.
The fresh food and farmer’s market operator, Wild at Hart, opened stalls for the first time and Adelaide’s food vans were on site.
Renewal SA teamed up with Illuminart and Fork On The Road’s fleet of food vans to help celebrate the Hart’s Mill precinct’s new life. Renewal SA chief executive, Fred Hansen, said the whole weekend was been planned to celebrate the historic Hart’s Mill.
“The Hart’s Mill precinct is an important part of South Australia’s history and this is a great way of breathing new life into what was once a working port, whilst respecting the history and heritage of the precinct,” Fred said.
“The foodie’s weekend was a celebration of the special place Hart’s Mill has in the community.”
It wouldn’t be a foodie weekend without at least one MasterChef celebrity. Barossa lad and MasterChef finalist Callum Hann shared his cooking secrets with the hungry crowd.
Wild at Hart proprietor Steph Taylor said the markets provide “the best in local produce and will encourage local business to get involved and interact with the community”.
“The Port is brimming with potential and our fresh food market will be a great match for Hart’s Mill – it’s all about offering ‘thoughtful produce for mindful people’.”
For Cindi, it’s a weekend that represents how far the community has come in preserving its history and protecting its future.
Cindi established Illuminart with the intention of creating a South Australian company that would use projection art and technology to achieve positive outcomes that lasted far beyond the spectacle.
“Re-staging the show after more than five years is allowing us to revisit Hart’s Mill precinct, to celebrate the landmark building and the impact that the community has had in preserving their heritage,” Cindi said.
“I also personally see it as a way to acknowledge and thank Port Adelaide as a place that supports innovation and creativity.”
In 2009 Cindi was offered a contract working with the Port Festival and the Port Adelaide community as an artist in residence.
Working almost entirely solo from a rented cottage in Ethelton, from research to “slaving over a computer creating every scene with tools like Flash and Motion”, Illuminart has come a long way.
Guest animator Danica Wells Heitmann has created the flour machine and Lou Bennett the soundtrack, all of which work remotely online.
The resulting “projection mapped animation” was a significant milestone, Cindi says, as it was Australia’s first fully animated son et lumiere (sound and light narrative lightshow).
“The storyline was created through consultation with Port Adelaide residents and the building itself became a very significant character in the animated projection, which I created in a style that would appeal particularly to children,” she said.
“It uses music and animation to express the community’s love for the iconic Hart’s Mill complex, as if it were a character that was born and lived on the shore of the Port River, and could tell its story to the younger buildings on the other side of the river.”
Illuminart has created a lasting connection with the Port and Cindi plans to continue to colour the area’s historic buildings with her award-winning – last year she won a Ruby Award for Arts Enterprise – projection art.
“We want people to come to Port Adelaide to see our work because it’s nowhere near as far to travel as Sydney or Berlin is to be able to see gorgeous architectural projection,” she said.