Students from the Royal College of Art (RCA) provided a stunning visual backdrop for King Charles III’s Coronation Concert as part of a unique Royal collaboration.
A series of creative artworks and animated shorts from 20 RCA students were projected onto Windsor Castle and a giant LED screen above the stage, providing a scenic vision of a starry night sky for a dramatic interpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, performed to 20,000 guests and broadcast live around the world on the BBC. The visuals formed a colourful backdrop to accompany the track ‘Somewhere’ from West Side Story in a performance featuring Ncuti Gatwa and Mei Mac.
The Royal College of Art joined forces with The Royal College of Music, The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera, and The Royal Shakespeare Company for the first time to produce this unique creative collaboration combining art, music, dance, and theatre in honouring their Royal Patron, His Majesty.
RCA students were commissioned to create special artwork for the concert marking the coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Founded in 1837, the RCA is the world’s leading postgraduate university of art and design and welcomes students from across the globe. King Charles III is the RCA’s Royal Visitor; his late father, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh served as the College’s Royal Visitor for some fifty years.
Taking inspiration from nature to produce their vision of a starry night sky, the students incorporated a variety of creative motifs such as dazzling rivers of stars, serene forests, tranquil oceans, and erupting volcanoes to convey new beginnings, love and unity.
Dr Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor, Royal College of Art, said:
“This historic moment was an incredible opportunity for RCA students to showcase their creative talents to a global audience and to collaborate with other Royal institutions in a unique celebration. The RCA is committed to the development of the next generation of artists and designers and we are honoured to have participated in this historic occasion.”
Dr Barbara Brownie, Assistant Dean (Education) in the School of Communication, Royal College of Art, said:
“The Coronation Concert is an amazing opportunity for our students to showcase their talents to the world. There was a rich variety of responses from the students across all of our four schools, working in a range of media and materials. The work is aspirational and diverse, and I’m so impressed at the quality of work that the students have been able to produce in such a short time.”