Hundreds of ‘lumenators’ and musicians turn spotlight on Causeway
Gathering at dusk on Saturday, hundreds of participants came together at the Giant’s Causeway for the third Northern Ireland event for Green Space Dark Skies.
Carrying a low impact Geolight designed by Siemens, volunteers from the north coast and from all over Northern Ireland - known as Lumenators - helped to create a large-scale artwork, celebrate nature and everyone’s right to explore the countryside.
There was no live audience and the exact location was kept secret to protect the landscape. The creative adventure was filmed and will be available to view for free on the Green Space Dark Skies website soon after the event.
A key theme of the Giant’s Causeway event was connections - to landscape, to each other and to our closest neighbour Scotland. Lumenators made a connection withthe landscape by creating waves of lights and movement alongside the Causeway stones, being guided through a series of Céilí steps devised and constructed by Céilí Caller Roan Eastwood. Renowned traditional musician Dónal O’Connor was specially commissioned to compose a new piece of work as a soundtrack for the film.
Called ‘Clochan na bhformorach - The Steppins Stone of the Formorians’, it was recorded by an ensemble of some of the finest traditional musicians. The piece was rehearsed by traditional music groups from Belfast, Armagh and the local area (North Coast Trad) who played on the stones in this iconic location.
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. The gatherings celebrate the countryside, people’s rightto explore it as well as encouraging our responsibility to take care of it for future generations. Everyone, including Lumenators have been encouraged to share their own connections to the landscape and the local areas through Green Space Stories, a free online story archive, that with the short films will form a valuable legacy for anyone interested in our relationship with land and our responsibilities to the landscape.
Developed by outdoor art experts Walk the Plank, Green Space Dark Skies is part of UNBOXED running April to September 2022. Walk the Plank has been working with representatives from Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and a number of creative partners in Northern Ireland to develop some of the major public engagement for Green Space Dark Skies. They are also working with the National Trust as creative and delivery partners in three of the Northern Ireland locations.
The Green Space Dark Skies team has also been working with Dark Skies representatives 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 features events in all four nations of the UK. Thousands of people from Cairngorms to The Chilterns, Gower to the Broads and Dartmoor to the Causeway Coast, are being recruited to create large-scale outdoor artworks in 20 of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes.
The next Northern Ireland event is the grand finale on September 24 at Slieve Donard, Mourne AONB.
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 make sure that everyone involved will not only enjoy participating but that it leaves a lasting legacy. We hope the Lumenators involved in the Causeway Coast AONB enjoyed the experience and
we would encourage anyone who would like to take part to watch the forthcoming film and sign up now to avoid missing out on this experience in our finale location.”
Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer of UNBOXED 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.”
Anyone who would like to take part in Green Space Dark Skies should register at https://greenspacedarkskies.uk/events/