Green Space Dark Skies participation in the UK
Thousands of people to come together to create mass participation artworks in the countryside
20,000 people, from the Cairngorms to The Chilterns, Gower to North York Moors and Dartmoor to the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland, are being recruited to create large-scale outdoor artworks in 20 of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes for Green Space Dark Skies, part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, from April to September 2022.
The first gathering will be created in the Peak District National Park on 23 April. Green Space Dark Skies is inspired by the 90th anniversary of the 1932 Kinder Scout Mass Trespass, a pivotal event in the movement to secure access to the countryside for ordinary people that influenced the creation of the UK’s network of National Parks.
The gatherings will be created at dusk by participants, referred to as Lumenators. They 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. Each short film 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.
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 experiencing our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to access events. The series of gatherings will celebrate the countryside and people’s right to explore it as well as encouraging our responsibility to take care of it for future generations.
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.”
Developed by graduate engineers at Siemens specially for this project, the lighting technology uses existing wireless programmable low impact 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 relation to the others; as well as the potential for this lighting technology to be adopted for use at future major outdoor events.
The Green Space Dark Skies team is working with Dark Skies representatives in many locations to explore how the project might highlight issues around light pollution in our towns, cities and rural landscapes to support wildlife to flourish. “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,” added John Wassell.
Green Space Dark Skies is one of 10 major creative projects commissioned as part of 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.