I always try to get to Deloitte Ignite, the annual event that opens up the Royal Opera House Covent Garden to host of artists and performers. It’s all free and it’s all fun. This year I saw the Royal Ballet doing a fabulous demonstration of how they build up the fight scenes in Romeo and Juliet, which drew a huge and enthusiastic audience. But my other aim was to see the silk banners in the Paul Hamlyn Hall. I knew they’d be a visual feast and I wasn’t disappointed.
The banners were designed and made by Ali Pretty, the Artistic Director of Kinetika, a London-based arts company. They’re based in Thurrock, next to the ROH Backstage Centre, and specialise in participatory projects that encourage the local community to develop their creativity.
The banners show scenes from the history of the Royal Opera House.
Each one is eleven metres long and were hand-painted by Ali and a team of artists and volunteers.
They used 132 metres of silk and took 740 hours to make.
The banners hung high over the heads of visitors, completely transforming the look of the Paul Hamlyn Hall.
The main Deloitte Ignite weekend ends today, though you can still catch the light show on the piazza-side walls of the Royal Opera House from 8.30 to10.45 this evening.