Tag Archives: flux artist

London Theatres in Lockdown

.A project documenting a hundred of London’s theatres and picture houses during the first Covid19 lockdown. Shown here is a selection.
The originals pictures are 5000+px. This page displays images at 600px wide.
Click any image for a slightly larger view.
Contact info and profile are below.


Trafalgar Studios during lockdown

Trafalgar Studios, Whitehall

Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket during lockdown

Her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket

Shaftesbury Ave / Sondheim Theatre during lockdown

Sondheim Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden during lockdown

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

The Palace Theatre during lockdown

The Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus

The Old Vicin lockdown

The Old Vic, The Cut

Cambridge Theatre London during lockdown

Cambridge Theatre, Seven Dials

Royal Court Theatre during lockdown

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square

Theatre Royal, Haymarket during lockdown

Theatre Royal, Haymarket

The Prince Edward Theatre during lockdown

The Prince Edward Theatre, Old Compton St.

_MG_0400_1_2_H copy

Southwark Playhouse, Newington Causeway

BAC during lockdown

Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill

Theatre Royal, Stratford East during lockdown

Theatre Royal, Stratford East

Young Vic Theatre during lockdown

The Young Vic, The Cut

Coronet Theatre under Covid19 lockdown

Coronet Theatre, Notting Hill Gate

The Vaults, Waterloo during lockdown

The Vaults, Waterloo

Sadlers Wells Theatre during lockdown

Sadlers Wells Theatre, Roseberry Av

Boulevard Theatre duting lockdown

The Boulevard Theatre, Soho. A completely new venue that was forced to close after only 3 months



Curzon Cinema, Soho during lockdown

The Soho Curzon, Shaftesbury Ave

Leicester Square Odeon during Covid19 lockdown

Leicester Square Odeon

Electric Cinema during lockdown

Electric Cinema, Portobello Road

Odeon Camden Cinema, Parkway during lockdown

Camden Odeon, Parkway

Tottenham Court road Odeon Cinema during lockdown

Odeon Cinema, Tottenham Court road

Hampstead Everyman cinema during lockdown

Hampstead Everyman, Holly Bush Vale


About this project

I’m a media artist that’s dabbled in many areas – a long time ago I invented projection mapping. My big thing is light.
Mid March 2020 I was finishing a major exhibition at the OXO Tower. I was also keeping an anxious eye on the news. It seemed a plague was coming – a real full-bloodied lethal plague!
Our audiences slowly dwindled, my show finished, and the day after that I got initial Covid symptoms. Two days later the country went into the first lockdown.
A horrible month of illness later I felt wobbly, but fit enough to get on a bike. I cycled into central London.
Standing virtually alone on Waterloo Bridge with no traffic on the road, no boats on the river and no planes above was… breathtaking. The solitude was at once bizarre, unsettling, and gorgeously beautiful.
From the bridge I could see the National Theatre where I had worked during an important chunk of my life. It now sat empty, deserted, forlorn.
Zig-zagging down an empty Strand I revelled in the quiet and safety of empty roads. There were a couple of optimistic taxi drivers and a security guard out for a smoke, while completely empty buses patrolled the streets. Most of the homeless had been temporarily packed away, though as always a few desolate-looking souls had slipped through the net. The police kept a watchful eye on it all.
Soho was vacant. It was like someone had pulled the plug during the night, while everyone was cosily tucked up in bed, and in the morning the sun rose on this surreal frozen landscape.
Hundreds of lanterns continued to hang celebrating the Chinese new year (and would keep doing so for months). Cinemas promoted A Silent Place II and Parasite as if they were set-dressing from a disaster movie offering a sly commentary, while theatres boldly advertised shows put to bed weeks before. I had sat immersed in the dark in most of these places, and had worked in many of them too. I thought how a show, a theatre, an audience are living things in intimate collusion. Together they breath life – the sum of the parts etc. The notion occured to me that I had stepped into some outlandish and fantastically huge wake, and was now there paying my respects to their glorious but sad and empty remains. Everybody would get their turn to do this, one by one. Today it was mine.
The streets would of course fill with people again. Normality would one day return. But would all these shows? Obviously some wouldn’t. Would even the theatres themselves survive..? Some had already been on a financial knife edge.
I needed to return and document this. Lone photographers were taking their post-apocalypse snaps, but was anyone recording the theatres and cinemas?
Back home I made a list. Using Google Earth I got the best time to catch the light, and mapped out several day-long routes hopping from one venue to the next. So: 7.30am The Donmar; 8am The Royal Opera House; 8.30am Trafalgar Studios; and so on. This was going to take a while – I had more than a hundred to cover!
So over the next few weeks I would spend a day cycling across town taking photos, followed by several days of post-Covid exhaustion (I’m in that scary ‘long haul’ category).
It was certainly a mixed bag. Some venues were impossible to get to (like the Barbican Theatre buried inside the shuttered Barbican Centre), some were just plain dull, but many were visually stunning, especially the huge Victorian edifices like Her Majesty’s Theatre on The Haymarket. Doing the ‘post’ on these has been a real pleasure.

I’ll be updating this.



Right now I’m scouting opportunities for publication.
A magazine feature would be ideal.
Single prints are available.
Get in touch.
p.s. Please don’t share this page on social media. Cheers!

 Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 11.52.06
Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 11.55.16
Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 11.57.37








.As part of the huge Mars and Beyond event at Bargehouse, OXO Tower on the South Bank, I was invited to create IKARUS, a installation/imagining of a craft of the future that carried its passsengers to distant worlds powered by a shared dream of stars.
.This used immersive stereoscopic technology (The Disinhibitor) I had developed for an earlier installation Memories Can’t Wait in 2015. Wearing a pair of 3D glasses, visitors entered a space filled with 3D projections that would create the illusion of entering an alien and fantastical space in which they appeared to float amongst infinite moving stars.
.The show ran from 20 February to 15 March 2020.

IKARIE logo 1DisinhibitorIKARUS SUNChildIts full of starstwo ladies in space3D AlienBargehouse PlanTina 3


..Here’s a short video giving a taster of IKARUS
IKARUS happy visitor


The Tree That Blinked at Light.Move.Fest

.In 2019 The Tree That Blinked was selected for Light.Move.Fest in Łódź, Poland – a festival that annually draws 800,000 people! It was a big success.

Couple comp lg 5
A couple contemplate The Tree That Blinked during setup the day before the opening.
Click any image for an expanded view.

Lodz Peggy Camera Comp copy
_MG_0650_1_2 (
Click any image for an expanded view.


Here’s a video of The Tree That Blinked in Singapore (2 mins)
Jonathan Ross 286 Poster 2

And a video (4 mins) of the first presentation at Gallery 286, London
with audience reactions.
TTTB screen shot sml


The Tree That Blinked at Singapore Night Festival

The Tree That Blinked - LayszaSingapore Night Festival audience
Click on any image to expand

This is quite mystical. In some parts of Asia, we believe there are spirits which reside in trees. Here, the British artist Karel Bata marries the persona of the tree with the portraits of people who had inspired him. Look closely at the details as the projections are set against the tree… then watch as it blinks and morphs into another face. Ingenious.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – –– David Sucha, Life’s Tiny Miracles

The one that did catch my attention was The Tree that Blinked. This ghostly display uses spotlights to form a person’s face on a large Banyan Tree, which then blink and change every now and then. …the face literally pops out at you the moment you shift into the correct viewing spot. I found this to be very, very smart.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – –The Scribbling Geek

My favourite of the whole festival however was The Tree That Blinked. It was amazing in so many ways, but the symbolism behind it was subjective which meant different meanings could come from this animated projection.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – Kara Bertoncini, The AU Review

In 2017 Singapore Night Festival celebrated their 10th anniversary with 600,000 visitors. They had seen my earlier work and asked me to create something around their century-old Banyan tree to celebrate its antiquity. I was happy to oblige with my installation The Tree That Blinked.

It is a series of digitally manipulated portraits projected into an old Banyan tree in which I trigger and explore the mystery and myths that form such a large part of our perception of woodlands. The work moves and shifts as the leaves are blown in the wind, so facial expressions seem to change too and the faces appear to undergo transformations of age and identity. Blended with real movements in the faces, and subtle morphs from face to face, this provides a compelling illuison of something alive within the tree, of spirits within.

This was first shown in embryonic form at Gallery 286 in London. At the time viewers referenced childhood stories or experiences of mysterious forests and strange creatures, and even ideas of layered consciousness. Some saw the tree as benign. I have taken these comments on board, and the piece has grown with these ideas.

Click for video (2 mins)

Jonathan Ross 286 Poster 2

Some stills (Click any image to see a larger version)

TTTB Lyra Singapore Night FestivalTTTB Tree 1.49.12TTTB Katie Bailey SingaporeTTTB Tree 1.31.18TTTB Law 3

The audience loved it!
Audience 2.13.04 B ( 6 B ( 11 B (

A video (4 mins) of The Tree That Blinked first presentation at Gallery 286
with audience reactions.
TTTB screen shot sml