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Electrosonic Projection System at London’s V&A Museum Ballgowns Exhibition


Electrosonic, an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, video conferencing and control rooms, has provided the projection system for the V&A Museum’s Ballgown exhibition.

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The ‘Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950’ exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum runs from May 2012 until January 2013.  Timed to coincide with the Queen’s Jubilee, the exhibition celebrates the last six decades of British fashion with more than sixty stunning ballgowns from British designers, Princess Diana Elvis Dress designed by Catherine Walker at the V&Aincluding Princess Diana’s 1989 ‘Elvis Dress’ designed by Catherine Walker. 

The exhibition, designed by Emily Pugh, is housed in the newly renovated Fashion Galleries.  Giant projected images float in the alcoves above the exhibition bringing the ballgowns to life.  Electrosonic engineered and installed the projection system which has been designed to support future exhibitions in the same gallery.

Although the projection system used is relatively simple, the size of the images, the need for off-axis projection and the compound curvature of the alcove surfaces make the exhibition technically complex.

The technology required for the exhibits feature four pairs of projection design F32 WUXGA high brightness projectors equipped with wide angle lenses. Two projectors are required to display each image and achieve the correct size and aspect ratio. The projectors are housed in well-ventilated housings and receive DVI signals over ‘CAT-5’ cable.

The show runs from two 3XS workstations, each serving four projectors running Dataton WATCHOUT™, which is used to edge-blend and warp the images to map them onto the alcove shape.

The exhibition uses photographs taken at the V&A by David Hughes in 2011. The production of the video sequences themselves was by Rollo Hollins of FLECTHERWILSON. Exhibit fabrication was by MDM Props Ltd, and overall project management was by Flemming Associates LLP. Electrosonic’s project manager was Anders Hall, and Simon George was the sales manager.

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