The ALD Announces 2018 Michael Northen Awards Winners

ALD Chair, Johanna Town, with Sophie Bailey, winner of The Michael Northern Award

From the Annual Lighting Lunch, the Association of Lighting Designers’ announced the winners of the 2018 Michael Northen Awards.

Students just leaving education, were offered a vital opportunity -by the awards- to gain practical skills and experience in creating a portfolio which sells their design ideas. The strongest, most imaginative and creative lighting or video designs were showcased for the eyes of experienced lighting and video designers, and to the wider reach of industry professionals.

Submissions had been deliberated over by an esteemed panel of judges and the honour of presenting the awards fell to ALD Chair, Johanna Town, presenting the Michael Northern Award itself; ETC Sales Manager, Darren Beckley, presented the ETC Award; judge, Steve Huttly, presented the Francis Reid Award; and Lucy Carter, ALD Professional Designers’ Rep, presented the Excellence in Video Design Award.

The Michael Northen Award was named in honour of the first credited Lighting Designer in the UK and his work on The Mousetrap which can still be seen in London’s West End. And it was awarded to a very deserving Sophie Bailey (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts). For her design which the judges claimed was ‘sculptural and controlled’.

Johanne Jensen (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama) was awarded The ETC Award for excellence in Lighting Design. The judges felt the process was presented well and the use of light thought about in some depth. The award was sponsored by Electronic Theatre Controls.

Bethany Gupwell (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama) walked away with The Francis Reid Award. The final imagery of Gupwell’s designs was thought striking, 3-dimensional and with faces well lit.

The Excellence in Video Design Award which marked out the winner for their artistic distinction in the growing art of video design in live performance was presented to Ruben Plaza Garcia (Rose Bruford College). The judges commented that his portfolio contained a good range of images and especially liked the combination of animated versus traditionally scenic content.

Johanna Town commented: “The value of collating your design work to be assessed by – and to gain insightful feedback from – professional judges, cannot be overestimated. This year’s entries were all remarkable and it was very hard to come to a final selection. We were also pleased to see a number of entries from non-drama schools: from practitioners who are just enjoying working with light and stage design. I hope we see more of these entrants in the future.  It’s been an honour to meet this year’s winners and to see what they’re capable of. I know we will all be seeing more of their work in the near future.”