GDS Recreate Sunsets on the Sahara with powerful DTS Bricks


Bristol’s oldest gallery, the Royal West of England Academy (RWA), sought the help of GDS to bring their incredible Africa State of Mind exhibition to life for their ‘After Hours’ event. The exhibition featured stunning photography from all over the African continent so the RWA wanted to use vibrant lighting to evoke the beauty of a Saharan sunset.
Having already worked with the Bristol-based lighting manufacturer to transform their gallery and workshop studio spaces in 2019, the RWA were keen to see the bespoke lighting design GDS could create to enhance both their external and internal spaces during the event.


In order to achieve the rich colour palette that the RWA desired over such a large scale area, GDS chose FOS, Brick and X-Brick fixtures from DTS to create a carefully-crafted, even wash of light over the entire façade of the impressive building. A GDS brand partner since last year, DTS products deliver beautifully consistent power, and the output of their Brick fixture is so impressive, it could be seen even in broad daylight. In fact, the entire uppermost tier of the gallery was lit using just one X-Brick fitting.

To mirror the natural beauty of sundown on the Sahara, GDS programmed 5, minute-long colour sequences of vivid red, amber and orange into rich purple and deep indigo, using gradients to create a subtle ambience. Internally, GDS used uplighters and 2 DTS Alchemy 5’s to light up the RWA’s famous dome. The 6-colour light engine and soft edged beam of the Alchemy 5 helped to create a soft gradient of light, that bathed the entrance hall and grand staircase in amber-white, burnt-orange, blue and purple, beautifully complimenting the striking lighting scene outside.


The sold-out event was an incredible success, and even drew people in off the street, helping the RWA to achieve their on-going goal to attract 40% more visitors and community users to their space this year.

GDS Product Manager Hallam Smith who created the display added,

“Lighting up such an impressive façade in our home city of Bristol was a wonderful opportunity, and we were blown away by the ability of the DTS Brick range to create such an impressive result with on-ly a small number of luminaires. Collaborating with the RWA to create a lighting scheme for their evening event was the perfect scenario to showcase the impressive light output of the DTS Brick range, and we were delighted with the outcome.”

RWA’s Events Manager, Arianne Fournier-Carey, was delighted with the results

“GDS were wonderful with delivering our idea into a beautiful reality. Lots of attendees complimented on the beautiful lighting and it certainly made the event special and memorable. Thank you GDS for your hard work, professionalism and creativity.”