Green Space Dark Skies participation in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland lumenators to creat large-scale countryside artworks as part of UK-wide celebration of creativity
Thousands of participants aka Lumenators are being recruited from across Northern Ireland, by outdoor art experts Walk the Plank, to help create large-scale outdoor artworks in some of the region's Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) for Green Space Dark Skies, part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, from April to September 2022.
Gathering at designated Northern Ireland locations at dusk, Lumenators will be guided along pathways or waterways carrying smart lights that will enable digital choreography captured on film, while also being sensitive to the night-time environment. To protect these amazing places, the exact locations will only be revealed to the Lumenators who have registered to take part. There will be no spectators, but anyone can take part for free as long as they sign up in advance.
Short films created for the gatherings will incorporate the stories of the people and places featured and will be broadcast online after the event. Lumenators will also be encouraged to share their own connections to the landscape and the local areas as part of their involvement.
20,000 people from Cairngorms to The Chilterns, Gower to North York Moors and Dartmoor to the Causeway Coast, are being recruited to create large-scale outdoor artworks in 20 of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes. Events will take place across the UK from 23 April with the finale in September featuring events in all four nations of the UK, more details to follow soon.
Green Space Dark Skies will enable people from all walks of life to forge new connections with the countryside by supporting those who experience cultural and physical barriers to access. This series of gatherings will celebrate the countryside, people’s right to explore it as well as encouraging our responsibility to take care of it for future generations.
Walk the Plank is working with each Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a number of creative partners in Northern Ireland to develop some of the major public engagement for Green Space Dark Skies. Walk the Plank is working with the National Trust as creative and delivery partners in a number of locations across Northern Ireland, England and Wales. Each event will depend on confirmation of landowner permissions, approval of event plans and local stakeholder engagement and therefore event locations and dates may be subject to change:
• Lagan Valley AONB (30 April); Sperrin AONB (June); and Causeway Coast AONB (date tbc).
Developed by graduate engineers at Siemens specially for this project, the lighting technology uses existing wireless programmable lights and incorporates something that's never been done before: the ability for these lights to be animated through geo-positioning, where the position of each light can be known in relationship to the others. The Green Space Dark Skies team is working with Dark Skies representatives in many locations to explore how the project might highlight the value of minimising light pollution in our towns, cities and rural landscapes to support wildlife to flourish.
Green Space Dark Skies is one of 10 major creative projects commissioned by UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a celebration of creativity taking place across the UK in 2022, designed to reach millions and bring people together. UNBOXED features free large-scale events, installations and globally accessible digital experiences in the UK’s most ambitious showcase of creative collaboration.
Outdoor art experts Walk the Plank are the lead creative organisation in the production of Green Space Dark Skies. John Wassell, Creative Producer said: “Green Space Dark Skies is about class and landscape, race and landscape, disability and landscape. We want to build more countryside stewards for the future, and to inspire more people to see the connection between their use and enjoyment of the land and our care for the planet. The moment when darkness falls, and we switch the lights off, is going to be the most important collective act of connection between people and nature within each event.”
Kathy Hayes, Walk the Plank Co-Producer for Green Space Dark Skies Northern Ireland, added: “ Green Space Dark Skies is a very exciting, inspiring and highly creative project. Through close local collaborations and partnerships we plan to make sure that everyone involved will not only enjoy participating but that it leaves a lasting legacy. I would encourage anyone who would like to take part to sign up now to avoid missing out on this experience.”
Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK said: “Green Space Dark Skies perfectly demonstrates the innovation and creativity we have seen harnessed through the development of the ten UNBOXED projects to explore new ideas for a better future. By engaging artists, engineers, landowners and members of the public to create a series of unique experiences, Green Space Dark Skies will both enhance people’s understanding of our natural environment and relationship to the countryside as well as show the power of creativity to inspire change.”
John Watkins, Chief Executive of the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, said: “The UK’s 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are within half an hour’s journey time for the majority of people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Green Space Dark Skies will give people a truly once in a lifetime experience and the opportunity to develop their own relationship with the nationally valued landscapes on their doorstep. The AONB family is thrilled to be part of Green Space Dark Skies, a project committed to opening up spaces for people while protecting nature. We hope that the Lumenators will continue to return to their AONBs, benefitting from the peace and rootedness that comes with a deep connection with place, and become the environmental guardians of the future.”
Green Space Dark Skies places environmental and social sustainability at the heart of its design and delivery; highlighting the value of the natural environment as a core purpose and delivering significant measurable positive impact. Green Space Dark Skies will be a carbon net-positive project* combining exemplar low emissions production with climate investments.
*The Green Space Dark Skies project is measuring and balancing 100% of its unavoidable Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. The project also acknowledges its Scope 3 emissions and the complexity associated with calculating these, and is working hard to rise to the challenge with its stakeholders.