Newcastle sound artist Huw Jones will lend his talents to the Charlestown CREATE project.
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WHEN ART MEETS TECH: A touch of VIVID comes to Charlestown!

Ever wanted to bang out a tune on a pedestrian handrail or have your movement translated into mesmerising light trails?

Well, you’re in luck thanks to a new initiative aimed at breathing exciting life into Charlestown’s Pearson Street.

CREATE Charlestown will see a series of interactive artworks, commissioned by Lake Macquarie Council, installed along the thoroughfare that is sure to bring a touch of Vivid to Charlestown.

The first Charlestown CREATE artwork is by Newcastle tech boffin and sound artist Huw Jones who will turn everyday objects like handrails, plants, and power poles into touch-activated electronic instruments using conductivity technology.

Fellow Novocatrian Alex Umpel will also create ‘projection mapping’ on a building opposite Charlestown Square, turning the facade into a giant animated artwork once the sun goes down.

“This precision means the animation can seemingly interact with the building’s bricks-and-mortar features,” Council’s arts, culture, and tourism manager Jacqui Hemsley said.

“The creative application has been used around the world to turn iconic buildings into illuminated masterpieces. It’s such an eye-catching concept, and one which will really bring that part of Pearson Street to life at night.”

The first Charlestown CREATE artwork, by Hunter-based sound artist Huw Jones, will turn everyday objects like handrails, plants and power poles along Pearson Street into touch-activated electronic instruments using conductivity technology.

Nearby, Alex Umpel, another local artist, will create a ‘projection mapping’ on a building across from Charlestown Square, turning its façade into a giant animated artwork at night.

Elsewhere, Melbourne creative studio John Fish will be on hand to install a giant interactive lighting installation that uses motion tracking sensors to detect pedestrians and translate their movement into light trails.

“These three artworks, together with the upcoming revamp of Pearson Street Mall and the recent opening of GPT’s food and entertainment precinct, will make Charlestown a much more attractive and vibrant destination,” Jacqui said.

Charlestown CREATE works are expected to begin in May, with all three due for completion by September.

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