White Light Illuminates at Private Celebration of the Reopening of the V&A’s William and Judith Bollinger Gallery


White Light recently supplied the lighting and staging for a private view and celebration event at the V&A, ahead of the official reopening of the museum’s William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery.

The centrepiece of the refurbished gallery is Queen Victoria’s sapphire and diamond coronet, which was purchased through the generosity of William & Judith, and Douglas and James Bollinger as a gift to the Nation and the Commonwealth.

In recognition of this exquisite piece going on permanent public display at the V&A for the first time, guests at the event experienced an exclusive viewing of Joby Talbot’s A Sheen of Dew on Flowers, an honorary cantata commissioned by Independent Opera and performed by Britten Sinfonia, Natalie Murray Beale, Kelley O’Connor, Tobias Greenhalgh and Britten Sinfonia Voices. For the cantata, Talbot took inspiration from the coronet, designed by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria.

As an approved supplier to the V&A, WL was appointed to provide the lighting and staging solution, designed to accommodate the vast orchestra ensemble and enhance the stunning architecture of the V&A’s Raphael Cartoons Gallery.

WL’s Account Manager Emily Woolnough comments: “We knew from the outset how integral the performance of the cantata was to the evening and that the 10 x 15m staging had to be the focal point within the space. We worked with versatile LED lighting to wash the stage, providing depth for the performers, while complementing the beautiful surroundings”.

Drawing on its extensive inventory, WL utilised a combination of moving units, profiles and floodlights to enhance the event’s different visual elements, including the Altarpiece of St George as a dramatic backdrop.

Chrissy Jay, General Manager at Independent Opera, comments: “It was a pleasure working with WL, who understood the significance of the cantata performance and knew exactly how to help bring this to life for guests with the lighting aesthetics. They expertly tailored the design to accommodate our performers’ every need within the requirements of a unique space”.

Sorcha Peaston, Senior Museum Events Manager at the V&A, adds: “With the valued Raphael Cartoons on display in the Gallery, it is hugely important that any production in the space is considerate of the artwork it contains. The V&A has worked with WL for many years, and we are confident in their ability to deliver events in and among our iconic collection”.

Photos courtesy of Chris Allerton.