About Us opens in Paisley

The UK's most ambitious celebration of creativity opens today with a thrilling ride through 13.8 billion years of history


Download the full 'About Us opens in Paisley' press release (PDF)

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of creativity taking place across the UK in 2022, launches today, 1 March, with About Us, a spectacular, free open-air event created by 59 Productions, The Poetry Society and Stemettes exploring 13.8 billion years of history through the infinite ways in which humans are connected to the cosmos, nature, and one another.

Opening at Paisley Abbey, Scotland, About Us will also be presented in Derry-Londonderry, Caernarfon, Luton and Hull and combines multimedia installations and live performance to immerse audiences in the history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the present day. At dusk, local landmarks are transformed into vast canvases combining awe-inspiring live projection-mapped animation with poetry, music, and live choirs, including a new score by Nitin Sawhney CBE and poetry by Llŷr Gwyn Lewis, Jen Hadfield, Jason Allen-Paisant, Khairani Barokka, Grug Muse and Stephen Sexton.

By day, LED video installations will showcase the creativity of children and young people from schools across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales through poems and Scratch animations. In Scotland, audiences will congregate in the open air at Paisley Abbey with the 25-minute show presented through the evening from 7pm to 9.15pm until 6 March.

About Us is the first of 10 major multi-site and digital creative projects commissioned as part of UNBOXED, an entirely free UK-wide programme, with events and activities stretching from the Outer Hebrides to Southampton, from Omagh to Swansea, and across traditional and online media until October. Each of the UNBOXED projects share new ideas and possibilities for the future and are the result of collaboration across science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. Arts organisations and designers, scientists and international research projects, tech companies and universities are amongst contributors forming new partnerships to develop and realise each project – hundreds of people have been employed as a result, including freelance creatives in addition to skills development opportunities and bursaries offered by the projects.

Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, said: “About Us is the first of UNBOXED’s ten awe-inspiring major projects given life through creative collaboration across all sectors. As a result, they have created truly extraordinary audience experiences that will demonstrate the power of creativity and how important it will be to the way we work, live learn and play in the future. “About Us dramatically touches on themes seen across all the UNBOXED projects, from mankind’s relationship with nature, responsibility for the environment and future possibilities for planet Earth to how people understand and interact with each other as individuals and communities. Everyone involved in making UNBOXED happen has been compelled to think about what is most important to all our futures and manifest this in projects designed to be fun and exciting, that will bring people together across the UK this year and provide inspiration for many years to come.”