Hero photograph
Scene from the Midwinter Carnival film designed and produced by Communication Design ākonga.
Photo by Trelise Wadsworth, Thomas Beckwith, and Courtney Keith-Bourke

Midwinter enchantment

Lesley Brook —

Communication Design ākonga (students) contributed to a magical midwinter experience.

Dunedin's 2023 Midwinter Carnival was held at First Church on 23 and 24 June with the theme "The Enchanted Forest". The evening festival included a variety of performances, and paper lanterns inspired by Alice in Wonderland. 

A team of ākonga studying Communication Design at Otago Polytechnic were inspired by the fairytale theme. They developed animations exploring three worlds - space, earth and sea, using vibrant bioluminescent colours and sound effects.  The storyline broadly roams from the voids of space to Earth’s intricate intersections of flora and fauna.

"We have gone for a mixed media approach. We started with watercolour paintings, then incorporated live video footage, used a high-end camera and macro techniques, including working with bubbles and ink to create interesting backgrounds. In short, we’ve drawn on a broad range of skills."

Layers of content were built up from these components. The result is a 10 minute mixed media video produced for the carnival and projected onto the façade of First Church. Viewers can start watching at any point in the looped video. Paul Smith, Trustee and Chair of the Dunedin Midwinter Carnival Trust, gave initial feedback to the young designers: 

"I like how vibrant the designs are and the variety will keep people interested. The students have put in a great effort and we can't wait to share their work with the community."