Cirque Du Soleil Wheat Paste Murals

 

This project was done for Cirque du Soleil’s new show: Volta. In Collaboration with Chicago Projection Mapping, we designed 3 wheat paste murals that debuted in various locations around Chicago, IL in the Spring of 2019. During the evening, the murals would light up with custom projection mapped content to make them come to life.

Concept building

Cirque du Soleil provided us with an aesthetic primer that familiarized us with their branding and iconography. The show, Volta, is “about a game show contestant named Waz, who has lost touch with himself; he starts a personal quest to find his true self by going through his memories, after discovering a group of free spirits who encourage him during this process”. (source) The iconography revolves around hexagons, floral patterns, circles and sharp lines and angles. With these concepts in mind. I developed digital sketches of ideas for the murals. The challenge was to combine the iconography with designs that worked well with projection mapping, and would also look aesthetically pleasing as standalone pieces of art. Below are the concept designs I created. Of the five concepts I submitted, the first three were selected to make into murals without any revision.

Installation

Through the month of May 2019, we planned to install three different murals at three different locations throughout Chicago, IL. During the day, the murals would stand as a black and white wheat paste mural. Once the sun set, Chicago Projection Mapping would arrive on site to project custom content that featured live footage of the Cirque du Soleil show.

Wheatpaste is a mixture of flour and water combined in a way that creates an organic and impermanent glue. In order to install these 10 foot murals, we had to print the piece 4 foot wide strips that I would apply to the wall incrementally. The paste takes just about 24 hours to fully dry, which proved to be challenging during the consistent precipitation we experienced this year. However, we were able to install them while managing any obstacles that were presented.

 

My role:  I designed, printed and installed each of the designs for this project. Initially we were anticipating to install three separate designs in total, however inclement weather proved to be a challenging factor and we opted to extend the length of the 2nd design as it was already installed and able to withstand the elements.

Programs and skills used:

  • Worked with a creative partner to develop and execute this project for a worldwide popular show.

  • Used Adobe Illustrator to create designs that satisfied the aesthetic of Cirque du Soleil while also being complementary to projection mapping.

  • Appeared at each location to install each mural with wheat paste, while keeping the poster perpendicular and accurately placed.

Solution: This project was very positively received among the crowd who was able to watch the design come to life. The client was satisfied and the hurdles we faced that potentially threatened the success of this project were accomplished with ease.