Moving matchstalk men

LS Lowry’s matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs are set to come to life at the weekend in an interactive installation in Salford.

As part of the Believe multimedia event, which marks the opening of the University of Salford’s new MediaCityUK building, Manchester-based duo Alastair Eilbeck and James Bailey have created the Lowry to Life dynamic installation.


Using motion-capture technology, the movements of passers-by will be translated into specially illustrated characters from Lowry paintings, which will appear in giant moving projections based on Lowry’s Piccadilly Gardens work.

University of Salford graduate Eilbeck, who now works for consultancy Amaze, worked with creative software developer Bailey to develop the work.

Wirral-based illustrator Maria Pearson has painted characters from Lowry paintings The Lying Man, The Cripples and A Day Out from the Prom to use in the work. The characters are depicted from four different views so that they can be shown from different angles when mimicking the movements of visitors.

Lowry characters
Lowry characters

The results will be displayed in projects in Piccadilly Gardens and over at Media City UK.

Eilbeck says, ‘The effect of the moving figures in the painting will be similar to split-tin puppets, which I think will capture the spirit of Lowry.’

Other Believe events include a chance to walk with dinosaurs from the BBC’s Dinosaur Planet (via a green-screen) and a showcase of projects from Salford’s digital media students.

Believe is being held on 12 November at Media City UK. For more information visit

Hide Comments (1)Show Comments (1)
  • Alastair Eilbeck November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Also want to add that, this has been a very ambitious and highly technical project and really want to express my gratitude to Ben Blundell who has done the vast majority of the code behind this.

  • Post a comment

Latest articles