Funded by the Quintin Hogg Trust, Animation students commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Lumiere Brothers and the University’s heritage


Animation students from the University of Westminster have revealed a 50 x 50 metre grass art work of the Lumiere Brothers to kick off the 125 anniversary celebration of the University’s heritage of being known as the birthplace of British cinema. For the very first time, in 1896 the Lumiere Brothers showed a film of a moving train to a paying audience, in Britain, at the University’s Regent Street Cinema, which is still used today.

Sited at the University’s Harrow Campus, on the lawns in front of the Halls, Animation students arranged and pegged down masking sheets which acted like pixels within a grid according to a map sketched on graph paper. The covered areas gradually turned a sickly shade of neon yellow due to lack of sunshine, the sheets when peeled away resulted in a temporary tattoo in the form of a pixelated portrait of the Lumiere Brothers, clearly visible from an aerial shot taken by a helicopter drone. The artwork will be temporary as the lawn will gradually return to green growth.

Kerrie Portman, Animation BA Honours student, said “I loved this project because honouring the Lumiere Brothers, the pioneers of cinema by masking their photo onto grass is so unique! Film making and digital entertainment is now done predominantly with technology, so it is nice to celebrate their anniversary by integrating the organic life cycle of grass."

Animation BA Course Leader Stephen Ryley said “We had a lot of fun battling with the elements and the fact that no-one has ever tried to make a photo in this way before gave the project an extra shot of excitement. We are always keen to encourage students to question their assumptions, develop their curiosity, and be on the lookout for alternative approaches, so that this innovative experiment was the perfect ice breaker for launch our new academic year. We are keeping the sheets, as if this one works, we will attempt a world record next time!”

As part of the project, schools across London will be encourages to create their own photographic prints on their lawns using the insights of Westminster Animation Students.