The streets of Shoreditch light up with Gary Nicholls’ dazzling steampunk projections
The streets of Shoreditch light up with Gary Nicholls’ dazzling steampunk projectionsMarch 1, 2019
On Wednesday night the Shoreditch streets were lit with the steampunk art of Gary Nicholls, a genre of artwork that celebrates a merging of futuristic technology with Victoriana fashion. One of the UK’s most respected steampunk photographers and authors, the eclectic streets of Shoreditch known for challenging the boundaries of creativity presented a perfect canvas for the Guerrilla street art pop ups of Nicholls’ tongue-in-cheek steampunk art.
Following the release of his limited edition fine art book ‘Imaginarium’ that contains 150 images of steampunk influence, Nicholls has recreated locations we all know like Wesley’s Chapel and St. Paul’s Cathedral by knitting and layering them with computer magic in a way you’ve never seen before – creating an alternate reality with true absorbance.
Deriving from cyberpunk, a genre formulated by science fiction writers that created a pseudo Victorian world incorporating futuristic technology, ‘steampunk’ was originally a joke name. Now with 300,000 followers via vast online networks and events, steampunk has become a whole sub-culture of its own, yet this fashion-cult is still widely misunderstood.
To help us understand more about this fascinating movement we’ve compiled a list of all the things you need to know about steampunk and in the light of the 200th Anniversary of Queen Victoria how we can get involved with all things Victoriana with steampunk’s modern, technological twist.
1. Steampunk is over 30 years old
First coined in 1987 by K.W.Jeter, author of Morlock Night, Jeter used the term to describe the speculative fiction where steam, not electricity, drove technological advancements – a way to distinguish himself from the cyberpunk phenomenon. Since then, the movement has been driven more by a fashion and art influence inspired by the Victorian era. This fusion of Victoriana culture, with technological sci-fi elements, has produced the daring and innovative sub-culture that steampunk is today.
2. It’s impacted more than you think
The re-ignition for love of ‘old fashioned’ materials like brass and copper, wood, glass, mechanical workings and ornate engraving isn’t something we would necessarily contribute towards the steampunk movement, however it was steampunk designers that influenced these rustic interior designs. Examples of this are such interior traits as 19th century style filament light bulbs that have become a recent cliche of boutiques and cafes. Popular films like The Golden Compass, Sweeney Todd and Van Helsing also include elements of steampunk fashion and ideas, not to mention modern fashion traits such as the leather trouser, military jacket or men’s rolled jeans no sock ensemble that dot our high streets.
3. It has inspired the world of music
The steampunk fashion is one that opens the doors to a whole world of dramatisation and the theatrical recreation of alternate personalities and realities in music. One of steampunk’s most popular music artists is Abney Park, a band that has a unique darkwave style heightened by the steampunk fashion. Abney Park’s music has been featured on a number of movie soundtracks, including ‘Insomis Amour’, ‘Goth’ and‘Lord of the Vampires’. Other big names in the steampunk music scene are Alice’s Night Circus who walks the tightrope between her theatrical world and the mainstream sound-du-jour, Captain of the Lost Waves who tells the stories that connect past and present and Elyssa Vulpes, an Italian hypnotherapist living among the Celtic city of Edinburgh whose steampunk style dominates her aesthetic.
4. There are steampunk events all over the world
With such an extensive following it’s no surprise that there is an abundance of steampunk events happening throughout the year. Each year Lincoln is the home to Asylum Steampunk Festival – the biggest annual steampunk event in the world – estimating an attendance of around 40,000 visitors a day. Additional to the many steampunk events and festivals that are carried out in the UK, America also contributes to steampunk’s grand following. With over 30 steampunk conventions a year, Americans are no strangers to the steampunk craze and this steampunk fandom spans far across the waters to places such as Australia, New Zealand and China!
So there you have it, our brief listing of the things you need to know about the wonderful world of steampunk. Are you lover of steampunk or something whose interest has only just been sparked? Subscribe and join in on our discussion of all things steampunk!