Martin sees his name in lights

Top art festival award for Edinburgh visual artist

Date posted

20 December 2016


Last updated

14 June 2022

An Edinburgh Napier graduate is capturing people’s imaginations across the world with his eye-catching light projections.

A recent graduate from the University’s Design and Digital Art course, Martin Sweeny has been causing waves throughout Europe, garnering critical acclaim for his innovative light and sound installations.

Blending colourful geometric shapes in sync with electronic music that map and follow the building or surface that they are being projected upon, Martin initially gained a reputation locally, with his work featured at various events including Creative Edinburgh’s Curiosity Shop Exhibition at Coburg House Galleries, The Edinburgh Student Arts Festival, Kelburn Garden Party and Edinburgh International Science Festival amongst others.

Through the support of Bright Red Triangle, Edinburgh Napier’s own one-stop shop for extra-curricular innovation and enterprise activities, he has since formed his own business called Unstable Creations and has continued his success by scooping a top art award at the Moscow International Festival in Russia.

Teaming up with fellow Edinburgh-based 3D and motion artists Werewolf Design Studio, Martin wowed crowds and judges alike – which included internationally renowned light designers and the producer of the Olympic opening ceremonies in Sochi and the upcoming Tokyo 2020 game – to win The Circle of Light – Art Vision 2016 competition, beating participants from Russia, Mexico, Japan and Spain.

Watch the award-winning projection here

Projecting his unique 3D mapping show onto the façade of the city’s VDNKh Pavilion, judges praised the entry for its technical ability and the sheer joy it brought to the hordes of people who attended the event.

For Martin, it was a combination of not settling for the ordinary and combining with Werewolf that saw him take home the top prize.

He said: “We were elated to find that we had won and taken first prize in the contest. We are now the proud owners of a beautiful Circle of Light globe and we really couldn’t be happier, it was such a fantastic experience and to see your work projected on that scale was something I will never forget.

“We have seen many architectural projections and most are very cliché; a pastiche of very similar ideas and Sci-Fi themes. We decided not to reference anything that had been shown before and opted to take a sideways approach. We delivered a colourful synesthetic experience where abstract geometric shapes moved in time with a fresh electronic soundtrack, all perfectly in sync. We’re just delighted that it went down so well with those who attended.”

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