Milton Keynes

IF Milton Keynes International Festival - Official Photographer by Shaun Armstrong

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It is my pleasure to be Official Photographer for the biennial IF Milton Keynes International Festival. For 2012 I covered 39 events over 11 days from the 5:30am craning in of the Boat Project to the embers of the final evening and pretty much everything in between.

Here are some highlights from 2012...

View full and extended Galleries of all artists and performances at IF 2012

 www.ifmiltonkeynes.org

Decorating - New Corporate Offices with Code-breaking Heritage by Shaun Armstrong

This commission was to create a set of abstract pieces of bespoke artwork for a new corporate headquarters based on the WWII Code-breaking work of Bletchley Park.

When Mazars LLP accountants moved into their new 120 man Regional Office at The Pinnacle in Milton Keynes they chose, via a staff competition, to reflect the valuable and pioneering work of Bletchley Park in their front-office meeting and Boardrooms. Working with Senior Partners at Mazars LLP and the Directorate at the Bletchley Park Trust, a one-stop project creating unique, stimulating artwork and also to build ties and raise awareness of the Charity was facilitated by mubsta.

Generous, exclusive access to valuable, historic technology and artefacts, courtesy of Bletchley Park museum and archives was secured following which a range of images were produced as the source photographic material. From these a Gallery of unique artworks was created and final choices were made before being fabricated into high-quality acrylic pieces and two 5 metre by 2.5 metre vinyl wall-coverings applied to the main Boardroom.

This powerful artwork coupled with name banners on glass walls, information boards and a high-quality printed Brochure allow staff, visitors and clients to not only enjoy the unique project but learn more about the key events and unsung heroes of innovation - a special deal, allowing visitors to get 20% off entry to the Park and museums, was also developed.

To launch the artwork, a private viewing was held and over 80 professionals and corporate clients attended to network, view the pieces, see a real Enigma machine and listen to fascinating talks from Bletchley Park Director, Simon Greenish and WWII Park veteran Jean Valentine, who two weeks earlier had been introduced to HM The Queen.

It was great to see this mutually beneficial project succeed on so many levels and also get some valuable PR, including front cover of the local Business MK magazine and coverage in a number of news outlets and plans are in course to use it as a case study for further fundraising activities in 2012.

Go hoops! Go MK Lions! by Shaun Armstrong

Basketball photography and impressions from Marshall MK Lions in Milton Keynes - my local BBL basketball team.

Go hoops! Go MK Lions!

I've always enjoyed Basketball, when I've stumbled across it on the TV, whether that was (showing my age) the Harlem Globetrotters showboating at Wembley - Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal goofing up to the whistled strains of Sweet Georgia Brown or watching the last game of the 1997 season in a bar in Vancouver, between the legendary Chicago Bulls (Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman (sans rouge) et al) and the Utah Jazz. Jordan stealing from defence in the final seconds to take a 3 point shot on the buzzer to win - classic.

At a business network event I met Vince Macaulay the then head honcho and driving force behind local basketball team MK Lions. They were really going great guns and had a strong vision and aspiration to European standards. He talked passionately and eloquently of the support of the local community from their humble beginnings and how the shopping centre with its large Middleton Hall atrium was their current "home" fixture pending a hoped-for move into the evolving MK Dons stadium complex, where we were seated having breakfast that morning, in the future. Wow - this sounded fantastic! When Stewart (who also sponsors the MK Lions!) put out an email asking who would like to go along to the next home match I put my name down straight away.

Well this was a superb event and a great win for the Lions. I enjoyed the whole thing from the pre-match warm-ups to the final buzzer with end-to-end action and 100% effort from a really dynamic set of character players. I did also notice a chap down under the hoop with a rather tasty pair of 1ds MKIII's and some L series glass (for the camera nerds) who looked like he knew his stuff - now that looks like a challenge thinks I. Now not being overly reserved I congratulated Vince on the win, told him what I did  and in a round about way asked if I could come along and take some basketball photography. By all means he smiled (what a guy) "let me have you details" So here I find myself crouched on the sidelines (need to do some yoga) along with Mr 1ds MKIII who is a Finnish guy travelling about and doing pics and reviews for the BBL.

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Now, I try and put a bit of my "take" on whatever I shoot, so these images aren't all not the normal action shots (but did try and do a few of those), but as a first time out doing this (man, do those guys shift!) I'm pleased and hope you find they share some of the effort and spirit of what goes on.  See my basketball photography