21 of 50

2019 is our 50th anniversary and we are championing some of the people who help make Scottish Ballet a great place to work. Each week we will introduce you to a different career at Scottish Ballet and the person behind it. 

Zachary Eastwood-Bloom is Scottish Ballet's first Digital Artist in Residence and has created Technology//Mythology//Allegory as part of the Digital Season. Working closely with dancers, choreographers, composers, filmmakers and VFX artists, Zac has created three short films drawing on tools including motion capture and 3D rendering. 

You can watch the first of Zac's works, The Fates below, with The Three Graces released on 3 June and Prometheus and Epimetheus released on 7 June. 

Could you briefly tell us about your practice up until being appointed Scottish Ballet's Digital Artist in Residence?

My practice is quite broad, I principally consider myself to be a sculptor, however I started out studying ceramics in Edinburgh and at the Royal College of Art in London. When I started to explore the use of digital technology within modelling and making, such as 3D scanning and 3D printing, my work developed into something much more wide ranging. 

Over the last few years I have been working on architectural and public art projects, my last solo show was the result of a residency with the Pangolin Bronze Foundry where I digitally distorted classical sculptures of gods that represent the planets of the Solar System using images of the actual planets. 

What attracted you to working with movement?

I have been interested for a while in how to express the shapes and forms that are generated between two or more people moving. It's part of a wider interest in how one can translate forms of information into something else that is tangible; from visual into sound, movement into form etc. Another area I have become fascinated in is how one can express ideas or a narrative in non verbal ways, and dance and movement are the embodiment of that.

Describe your creative process when collaborating with choreographers and composers? How does it differ from your visual art/sculptural practice?

It has been a very collaborative process, I discussed with them a brief to work to, highlighting a set of ideas and notions to explore and the tone or mood of the piece. I also set out the visual look of the piece and the processes we will go through to achieve that. It has been a very fluid and enjoyable process. 

It is different because I feel like part of a team working together towards the same goal. In my sculptural practice it is normally just me developing my work, I really think that the collaborative discursive process has been massively beneficial to my work.

What are some of the new skills you've learnt, or new understandings of the body since starting this residency?

Loads! I always try to do something new with every project I do. I am not a big fan of repeating myself. Technologically speaking I have learnt Motion Capture, and taught myself a few new pieces of software for Motion Graphics and video post production. I have never made films before with real people in! I have learnt about filming on green screen. I have learnt a lot about dance but still not how to dance. I think the biggest thing I have learnt is working with the practicalities of a project of this size and the number of people involved.

There are only so many hours in a day. Can you tell us about some of the projects you would love to have explored, but haven't had time for in the residency?

One thing I am really keen to explore is the relationship between movement and sound and how dance could generate sound rather that respond to it. Hopefully I am going to apply for funding to explore that and continue working with some of the choreographers and musicians I have collaborated with at Scottish Ballet.

What’s your ‘get-up and go’ song?

Over the last 10ish years there is one tune that I keep returning to which is Hajnal by Venetian Snares. It is over 7mins long but I urge everyone to stop what you're doing and listen to it all the way through. It is like a lifetime in one short piece of music and, personally speaking, it is impossible to get bored of. It will knock your socks off and get you up and going! It's a work of genius.