Two Rosco Gobos Inspire A Bespoke Mosque Window Gobo Design
Lighting Designer Sara Burns created the lighting for 10 Nights, a play that was produced by Graeae and performed at The Bush Theatre in London. The script focuses on a young Muslim man doing Itikaf for the first time. This Islamic practice involves spending the last ten nights of Ramadan in isolation inside a mosque. To create this environment, Sara wanted to incorporate a mosque window gobo into her lighting design as a way to support the spiritual journey of the main character.
“My research for the play's aesthetic and palette kept bringing me towards the beauty of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and the shape of the arches and towers,” Sara noted. “For a play mostly set at nighttime inside a UK mosque, I was adamant that I needed a gorgeous moonlit window!”
Examples of the effect Sara envisioned (left) and her inspiring selection of Rosco standard gobo images (right).
Sara began hunting for a specific gobo design for this project. “I very much knew what I wanted, but it just didn't exist,” she recalled. Sara ended up finding inspiration inside Rosco’s Gobo Catalog. Two standard steel gobo patterns – #R77740 Chinese Screen and #R77337 Eastern – had elements that she desired for her mosque window gobo design, she just needed to combine those elements together.
Sara merged the patterns of the two gobos together and then modified the design into her own custom mosque window gobo. She adapted the scale of the #R77740 gobo to achieve the geometric repeating pattern found in Islamic art and architecture. Then she modified the window shape of #R77337 to accentuate the upper “dome” of the design. “The final shape needed to be PERFECT,” she recalled, “because I knew the pattern was going to be in super sharp focus.”
Sara’s custom mosque window gobo image projected on the stage.
Sara ended up having her design made into two Custom Steel Gobos – one projected from the side to hit the gauze that was hung as a divider on stage, and another projected from above onto the ground. “I just love a gobo,” Sara noted, reflecting on the role gobos play in her work. “Textures are such an important element in my design projects. Used subtly, for me, they are an integral part of illumination.”
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