A montage of scenes from the films of Lord Richard Attenborough were projected onto the newly-refurbished Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts last weekend to mark the first anniversary of his death.
Previously unseen family archive photos were also used in the work by Nina Dunn to honour the university’s former chancellor.
The films used included Brighton Rock and Jurassic Park, in which he starred, and Gandhi and Chaplin, which he directed.
Lord Attenborough’s son, Michael Attenborough said: ”I think it would be true to say that the film that Sussex University projected onto the side of the Attenborough Centre represents the multi-faceted personality that my Dad was.
“The moment you tried to pin him down and define him, he’d wriggle away and be somebody else.
“Of course he acted in over 100 films and directed or produced a huge number, but he didn’t see art as something isolated from the rest of life and he learned from his parents that a full involvement in the wide world was every bit as important.”
University of Sussex vice chancellor Professor Michael Farthing said: “Richard was a larger-than-life personality, which is why this extraordinary and captivating film projected onto the Attenborough Centre building is such a fitting tribute.
“We fondly remember Richard for his warmth, humanity, humour and vitality. As our Chancellor he brought an element of real celebration to our graduation ceremonies and his regular visits to campus were always a big occasion.
“He had a gift for making any staff or student that he met, feel very special, and he was very much part of the university community.
“In the arts world he was a tremendous tour de force. This wonderful work shows us again his remarkable contribution and sets the stage for our own exciting, upcoming programme of arts and performance in this much-loved building on our campus.”
The Attenborough Centre, the university’s original arts centre designed by Sir Basil Spence in the 1960s and now a Grade II* listed structure, has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment.
The space now hosts a state-of-the-art 350-seat auditorium, extensive gallery and display areas designed for art and audio visual installations, rehearsal studios, breakout creativity zones and a new café and bar – to be enjoyed by students, staff and the public. A public performance programme will launch in spring 2016.
As one of the first university campus arts centres in the UK, the building has a storied 50-year history, and has previously seen internationally renowned performers such as Sir Ian McKellen, Gemma Jones, and comics Jack Dee and Lee Evans grace its stage. Sculptor Barbara Hepworth and modernist painter Marc Chagall have both exhibited works, and the likes of contemporary dance companies Ballet Rambert and physical theatre troupe Spymonkey have also appeared at the venue.
In its new guise, the Attenborough Centre will continue to support emerging talent and established acts alike.
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