Markus originally trained as an actor, but later found his way into the technical side of theatre and the arts and is currently in his final year on our BA (Hons) in Lighting Design.
Markus has worked on small and large projects in both Norway and the UK. In the summer of 2015, Markus worked as Associate Programmer on Tree of Codes (pictured) at the Manchester International Festival which brought together choreographer Wayne McGregor, visual artist Olafur Eliasson and Mercury Prize-winning producer/ composer Jamie xx to create a contemporary ballet inspired by the book by Jonathan Safran Foer.
How influential have your tutors been?
It is truly important having teachers that are actively interested in what you want to do with your career. My Programme Director, Hansjorg Schmidt, is working with me to identify my career path as a lighting designer. It really helps having tutors that are passionate to help you on the way into a professional environment. You learn so much from it and it is amazing that it can lead into unique new opportunities out there.
How did you get the opportunity to work at the Manchester International Festival?
I was lucky enough that I was connected from my tutor to one of my biggest inspirations ever; Olafur Eliasson, who creates incredible installations and architectural surroundings with the use of lighting and material. He is probably most for famous for creating an installation called The Weather Project. Which was a huge sun-like entity that was situated in Tate`s Turbine Hall in London.
I was also connected to Rob Halliday, who is an incredible professional with a lot of experience and knowledge in the field. Halliday is a well-respected programmer and lighting designer for the West End, Broadway and many other places in the industry.
What was the process in creating Tree of Codes?
Olafur Eliasson was the overall visual designer of the production. Rob Halliday was in the mix of being the lighting designer, programmer and the lighting realiser for Eliasson`s ideas and visual concept. At the same time the visual design had to collaborate with choreographer Wayne McGregor`s dancers and the music from composer ‘Jamie xx’.
It was truly amazing to work with people from every department who have so much experience and knowledge. You literally learned something new every minute it seemed like. It was fantastic to see how every person on each department worked together so that each element of the production fit together and became a fantastic show.
What advice did you receive during the production?
It was great getting to talk to different professionals and learn about the creative process, obstacles , collaboration and technology etc. It is so vital to get these kinds of opportunities at a student level. Because these opportunities can gives you experience and possibly even more in the future. I had many talks with Rob Halliday and we talked a lot about student opportunities out there.
Rob gave me some really useful career advice, and he told me about the Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) student competition. This is an annual competition to win a trip to Live Design International (LDI) in Las Vegas, Nevada. LDI is a design tradeshow, much like ‘PLASA’ in London, but even bigger. ETC identifies students to help them during that weekend, but that they also give them an opportunity to network with a lot of different industry professionals.
When I got back from Manchester, I wrote to ETC and applied for the competition. A few weeks later, I found out that I was 1 out of 7 people who had won the competition and I travelled to the United States of America for this fantastic opportunity at the end of October 2015.
You can keep up to date with Markus’s projects at www.markustarasenko.com