The plastics industry is amazingly versatile – obviously, hardly a surprise considering the huge number and varied type of products it produces. Still, it’s a big step from, say, plastic pails, or car parts to concert design. Peerless Plastics would apparently agree: “not your standard request” is how they describe one of their latest projects, which involved creating the artwork for the progressive trance trio Above&Beyond.
The group, which has legendary status in the world of trance music, turned to Peerless Plastics, a coatings and finishes specialist in Norfolk, UK, who also supplies a wide range of plastics sheeting to customers, to produce the artwork needed for their current world tour.
Together with artist Leora Honeyman, Peerless Plastics came up with an arrangement of 12 pieces of differing sizes and hung in groups of three in an oversized ‘mobile’ arrangement from the ceiling of gig venues.
Gratifyingly, many homemade smaller versions have started to appear during the tour as fans create and make their own at home and bring them to concerts. The shape is based on the logo and brand of the bands music label Anjuna (which the band also own and run).
The pieces were large, and, as they needed to be shipped around the world, had to be made of a strong, preferably lightweight material.
Polycarbonate - virtually unbreakable, light enough to hang - was the material of choice for creating the large, 3D logos. The idea was that these would refract light, so an internal frame was used which was clad in the polycarbonate to act as a lightbox, giving the same effect.
Lightboxes were each different size but the largest measured approximately 900 x 600 x 600mm.
The polyframes were created in modular form so they could be built 'like Lego' and easily put together.
“Imagine Ikea for Plastic! The shapes then clamped to the sides to create the overall lightbox,” Peerless plastic put it.
The machinery used to create the boxes was large format CNC with the elements CAD mapped exactly before automated machining.
The products were finished by beadblasting to give the material a different finish and allow the light to refract as desired.