Insights into Confessions

Libby Battaglia – Creative Director

The idea for most of our work usually starts with an ambition to find a solution to a problem. In response to Covid-19 we wanted to create an interactive space where people feel safe to share their secrets without any judgement from others. 

When we started researching the theory behind confessing, we discovered there is strong evidence suggesting any type of open and truthful confession reduces stress and helps individuals come to terms with their behaviour. There is also extraordinarily strong evidence that writing about upsetting experiences or dark secrets can benefit your mental and physical wellbeing.

Having been so moved by the collection of the public’s hopes and expressions of faith created at Light up Poole in 2020 we wanted to develop a project to dig deeper into the human psyche. When Covid-19 broke out we were surprised at the extent of online policing through social media and thought that by building an anonymous platform people could not only release any guilt, but contribute to a unique study of the human psyche. 

We approached digital artist Ashley Wilkie and commissioned him to create an interactive 360° online audience experience to bring this vision to life. We had worked with Ashley before, commissioning him for Light Up Poole in 2018 and 2019 and he created some beautiful light artwork using interactive projection and video mapping, so we wanted to bring this talent online. 

With the concept in place it was then all about how it becomes an engaging artwork and this is what Ashley has succeeded in creating so well. We then brought in a team of creatives to support the project including  Josh Pyman (videographer), Sofia Stephanou (Digital Producer), Steve Cowland (Graphic Designer) and Nick Churchill (Writer).

Ashley Wilkie – Artist

Ashley’s work utilises his video production techniques from a motion graphics background, infused with physical light-based elements that focus on alternative media outside the screen such as projection mapping and immersive installations. These provide a unique opportunity to take content from the screen and into a physical landscape, creating distinct and enchanting spectacles.

Ashley uses graphic design, 3D animation, creative coding, and installation design to produce new and provocative ideas that explore an ever-changing digital landscape of possibilities through innovative technology.

We challenged Ashley to create an interactive audience experience that was safe and anonymous that showed off both his artistic practices and his digital ability. We explored several iterations as Confessions was developed during the Covid-19 lockdown period, using a range of digital tools from web, video and code to create this lasting experience for audiences to discover and engage with.

Josh Pyman – Videographer

Josh has worked with Audacious since 2019 and oversaw the video production for the Confessions project during lockdown using stock footage, screen recordings and archive footage.

Video content is an important element for a project like this as it helps us reach out to audiences and engage them in a way that demonstrates exactly what the project is about and how it all works. It is important for people to understand and feel safe using the Confessions platform, and video content helps people understand what the project is and feel more comfortable about contributing.

Sofia Stephanou – Digital Producer

Sofia is an experienced senior producer of theatre, film, and live performance with a wealth of experience of working and touring productions across the UK and internationally.

She is passionate about large-scale community projects, audience development, and work that focuses on social change and impact. She is creating social media strategy, creating and posting content for social channels, working with artists, and building contacts to engage with Confessions.

Steve Cowland – Graphic Designer

Steve has worked with Audacious since 2018 on Light Up Poole and Lighthouse Creative Engagement Projects. Having enjoyed many years working in the international music industry, he has finally found his passion in regional arts and independent theatre and music. Steve is always keen to tap into the creative heart of our projects looking at every angle possible to achieve our goals. 

Nick Churchil – Writer

Nick has written books, short stories, plays, poems, artist biographies and speeches. A journalist by trade, he helps communicate to our audiences producing website content, production scripts, brochure copy and press releases. He has this incredible ability to immediately understand what it is we need and how it needs to be written and turns our jumbled creative jargon into something that our audiences engage with and find interesting to read. 

The Confessions Gallery Voices

Many Thanks to our volunteers from around the world who sent in recordings of confessions, you brought us so much joy listening to them – THANK YOU!