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Two of the Lighting Design industry’s rising stars praise the Knight of Illumination Awards for celebrating the art

UK Two young lighting designers whose talent was recognised at last year’s Knight of Illumination Awards have spoken of the importance of the event.

Jamie Thompson, who was presented with a KOI Toledo Sword Award for his lighting design for The Script’s recent tour, and Michael Straun, whose Glasvegas lighting design was celebrated, say that they have both received a career boost since the awards.

“I think everyone likes to be praised and recognised for his or her work - it really did feel fantastic to receive such a well-respected, industry-recognised award,” says Straun. “For me it was an honour even to be short-listed. I really loved Neil Carson’s design for Chase and Status so it meant a great deal to be acknowledged in the same category as him. I also saw previous winner Cate Carter’s arena design for Elbow and thought it was beautiful so it felt incredible to be considered for an award.”

One of the main aims of the Knight of Illumination Awards is to bring the Lighting Design community together to celebrate the achievements and progress the industry is making.

“I think it’s great that the KOI awards exist - it's nice to have a range of awards focused on one aspect of the industry,” says Jamie Thompson. “The KOI awards event offers people a great demographic of established and rising talent with in the lighting industry.

“And, of course, it was a fantastic honour to win the coveted sword. I think the award has helped raise my profile with in the industry and it’s also a fantastic accolade to have under my belt.”

Sarah Rushton-Read, Chairman of the KOI Rock Award, says: “The beauty of the KOI Awards is that we can celebrate rising talent as well as established or well known lighting designers at the same event. At the 2011 Awards, it was very moving to see world-renowned lighting design veteran Richard Pilbrow – a godfather of the art – be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Equally, it’s fantastic that we can highlight some of the amazing work being produced by younger lighting designers that are making waves in the industry. And, of course, we think the Awards mean even more because it’s up to people within the industry to submit lighting designs that have really impressed them. The Awards really cement our community and raise awareness of the great work being done.”

This year’s Knight of Illumination Awards takes place in London on 9th September and entries are flowing in at a steady pace – so far, submissions for the Rock Award include: Florence and the Machine, Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Swedish House Mafia, Snow Patrol, Death in Vegas, Bombay Bicycle Club, Orbital and many more!

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