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University commemorates Lord Attenborough with giant picture show

The twinkly face of Lord (Richard) Attenborough beamed across the Sussex campus this weekend to commemorate the first anniversary of the celebrated actor and film director’s death.

A selection of stills and sequences from his films were used to form a specially commissioned work to honour Lord Attenborough, who was the University’s Chancellor from 1998 until 2008.

Created by international video and projection designer, Nina Dunn, the work was projected onto the newly refurbished Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts on Saturday (22 August).

Featuring many of Lord Attenborough’s most iconic performances – such as Pinkie in Brighton Rock and scenes from Jurassic Park as well as some of his directing highlights from Gandhi and Chaplin - the work pays tribute to Lord Attenborough’s contribution to the arts.

To coincide with the event, never-seen-before family archive photos have also been released, revealing family gems from when Attenborough was a child and photos with his wife and children.

Lord Attenborough’s son, Michael Attenborough said: “I think it would be true to say that the film that Sussex University projected onto the side of the Attenborough Centre represents the multi-faceted personality that my Dad was. 

“The moment you tried to pin him down and define him, he’d wriggle away and be somebody else. Of course he acted in over 100 films and directed or produced a huge number, but he didn’t see art as something isolated from the rest of life and he learned from his parents that a full involvement in the wide world was every bit as important.”

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, said: “Richard was a larger-than-life personality, which is why this extraordinary and captivating film projected onto the Attenborough Centre building is such a fitting tribute.

“We fondly remember Richard for his warmth, humanity, humour and vitality. As our Chancellor he brought an element of real celebration to our graduation ceremonies and his regular visits to campus were always a big occasion. He had a gift for making any staff or student that he met, feel very special, and he was very much part of the University community.

“In the arts world he was a tremendous tour de force. This wonderful work shows us again his remarkable contribution and sets the stage for our own exciting, upcoming programme of arts and performance in this much-loved building on our campus.”

The Attenborough Centre, the University’s original arts centre designed by Sir Basil Spence in the 1960s and now a Grade II* listed structure, has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment.

The space now hosts a state-of-the-art 350-seat auditorium, extensive gallery and display areas designed for art and audio visual installations, rehearsal studios, break-out creativity zones and a new café and bar - to be enjoyed by students, staff and the public. A public performance programme will launch in spring 2016.

The specially commissioned work to honour Lord Attenborough can be watched in full below.

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Posted on behalf of: Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts
Last updated: Monday, 24 August 2015