Tom McDonagh


MSci Physics, University of Bristol
Masters in Biology, Rockefeller University, New York

Tom works with light to create story-telling experiences, both large and small. As a scientist by training, Tom uses his expertise from building microscopes to develop new ways to project and perform with light. These new techniques are integrated with traditional art forms such as shadow theatre and mechanical automata. He often repurposes old optical technologies using modern insights into light.

Once Tom has formulated an original concept, a new project begins with extensive historical research and the collection of written and visual material. A visual style is devised by experimenting with optical arrangements and constructing miniature scenery, light filters, and puppets. The final production is the opposite of a recorded digital experience; everything is created live with physical objects, manipulated by performers or by custom built mechanisms.