An exhibition inspired by retro games and the “Pixel Art” movement is coming to Pyramid, Palmyra Square

An animator and musician, inspired by retro video games and pixel art, will hold his first solo exhibition in his hometown later this month.

Emily Garner – known as “Pastel Castle” – will present an immersive, multimedia showcase of their work at the Pyramid Arts Center from July 29 to September 23.

The Warrington-born artist’s style was heavily influenced by video game environments and virtual worlds found in Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda and Jade Cocoon.

Emily, 30, said: “These had a huge effect on the way I draw and think today. Games and software from the 90s were all I needed to get into the game. pixel art animation.

“The final ingredient was picking up an electric guitar and learning how music works and what it’s like to experience the magical adventure of being in a band.”

Emily, who grew up in Great Sankey, has since turned Pastel Castle from a passion into a full-time job, focusing primarily on creating animated music videos for bands and artists around the world.

Other project work includes designing video game characters and Emily has even started creating bespoke music on a Nintendo Game Boy using a sequencing program called Little Sound DJ in combination with a vocoder, synths and rhythm boxes.

Emily also frequently collaborates with animator and fellow “pixel pusher” Night Fortress and together they form the “Pastel Fortress” studio which provides a constant source of ideas and inspiration for both artists.

“The work we do together is always the best and we cover a lot more visual ground,” Emily added.

“With the time we have, we watch a lot of animation. Our all-time favorites include the work of Ben Jones, Pendleton Ward (Adventure Time), Rene Laloux (Fantastic Planet) and Studio Ghibli.”

The new series of exhibitions in Pyramid’s Atrium have been set up primarily to support emerging or under-the-radar artists in Warrington.

But Emily’s will be a little different as it will feature a number of big 90s TVs and will even be in the style of a music video channel from the era.

This is one of the former pupil of St Gregory’s High School’s biggest opportunities since attending the ‘River of Light’ festival at Liverpool’s waterfront, where a virtual band called Spritework was created on cubes large-scale light.

Emily added: “I have always been fascinated by the medium of light. Not only was this my first attempt at sculpture and light design, but the exhibition was accompanied by my first piece of music recorded as a solo artist. I’ve never worked alone in music before and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Pastel Castle can be viewed in the Pyramid Atrium for free between July 29 and September 23.

Christopher S. Washington