Friday, 21 May 2010

Continuum Press Release

Photo by Colin Davison

Public preview of:

A fulldome video art work by Paul Grimmer
Featuring a commissioned 5.1 surround soundscape by Nick Able and Benjamin Freeth

‘Continuum’ will preview at the Planetarium, Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne on Friday 25th June as part of ‘Identity Masquerade’ between 18:30 - 21:00.

Newcastle based artist Paul Grimmer will be premiering his new video work in the unique immersive environment of the Planetarium at Newcastle’s Centre for Life. Grimmer developed the work during artist residencies with the Medical Research Council, Virology Unit in Glasgow (2008) and Allenheads Contemporary Arts in rural Northumberland (2009).

‘Continuum’ has been created specifically for the 10-metre diameter hemispherical screen at Centre for Life’s Planetarium, the largest in the region. Created with support from the development team at Life, ‘Continuum’ uses fulldome technology to create an immersive experience for the viewer, placing them inside of the work. The Centre is currently celebrating 10 years of excellence in the field of genetic research, which has been another influence for Grimmer’s work.

The artist says...

“The work explores the gaps between what we see and understand and what remains unseen and incomprehensible. ‘Continuum’ imagines another world, perhaps a microscopic world, like that of the virus or one that is as unimaginably vast as the universe. These extremes can only be visualised with the help of science and yet retain a sense of wonder and magic, they live in the imagination”

“Certain genetic mutations manifest themselves visibly, others are invisible but are mutations nonetheless. To the virus mutation is key to survival. Viruses are deadly and dangerous, yet highly ordered and beautiful, I am interested in these dualities”

“The Planetarium is designed and best equipped to display astronomical information and 3D animation. Learning how to adapt video for this setting was extremely challenging but also exciting as it offers a unique level of immersion for the viewer”

Complementing the visuals is a 5.1 surround soundscape produced and mixed for the planetarium by composer and musician Nick Able and multi-media artist and musician Benjamin Freeth, both based in Newcastle. The soundscape was created with support from Culture Lab and Newburn Surgery where recordings were gathered from the artist’s body as source material.

During his residency at Allenheads Grimmer contacted prosthetics sculptor Satinder Chumber with a strange request, to make him a tail. This unusual body modification was to be worn during the video shoot for Continuum. The transformation also involved the artist being painted gold from head to foot, creating a body both beautiful and grotesque. Working with movement, researched and developed at Dance City (2009), ‘Continuum’ explores mutation, difference and notions of beauty.

Project supported by:
Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Arts Council England, Centre for Life, Culture Lab, Dance City, Medical Research Council, Newburn Surgery, Newcastle Science Festival 2010

Life Science Centre, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 4EP
For directions see -

Tickets for the ‘Identity Masquerade’ event cost £5 and are available from Centre for Life, for bookings contact: Niamh on 01912438223

For further information, full resolution images or interviews contact:
Paul Grimmer on 07919568432 or at

Tuesday, 11 May 2010