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Thousands of people to come together to create mass participation artworks in the countryside as part of UK-wide celebration of creativity

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Logo: Green Space Dark Skies

23 April – 30 September 2022

Gower AONB, Wales (National Trust Images/John Miller)
Gower AONB, Wales (National Trust Images/John Miller)

Green Space Dark Skies invites 20,000 people, from all paths in life, to make a journey into the landscape together. There, we will experience wild and beautiful places across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as dusk falls. Open to all, each mass gathering celebrates nature, our responsibility to protect it and everyone’s right to explore the countryside. We will take everyone on a journey through our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), to a climactic closing moment in all four nations of the UK.

Green Space Dark Skies is one of ten major projects commissioned by UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, the groundbreaking UK-wide celebration of creativity in 2022, and designed to celebrate science, technology, engineering, the arts, and maths. Led by outdoor arts pioneers Walk the Plank, the project takes place from 23 April to 30 September 2022. The gatherings will be created at dusk by participants, referred to as Lumenators. They will be guided along pathways or waterways carrying smart low impact 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.

Green Space Dark Skies visualisation Graphic Design Eduardo Armbrust
Green Space Dark Skies visualisation Graphic Design Eduardo Armbrust

The Lumenators will carry special low impact lights using state-of-the-art technology at 20 different locations. There, we will create art outdoors, recorded by film and photography. 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. 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.

Cairngorms National Park, Scotland (Cairngorms National Park Authority)
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland (Cairngorms National Park Authority)

To protect the green spaces where the gatherings will take place, the specific locations will remain a secret. Only those who’ve signed up to take part will be there in person on the day.

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. Today, the UK’s National Parks and AONBs are places that anyone can visit, any time, for free. But we know that not everybody feels able to make use of these spaces. In the face of the climate emergency, and at a time when the need to reconnect with nature is more urgent than ever, this is neither fair nor sustainable. We believe we should all feel equally welcome to explore our green spaces. By inviting people who feel excluded from these places to make a journey together, the project will create new connections with the UK’s countryside.

This is the chance to be part of something truly special. Thousands will watch online but only those who’ve signed up to be involved will be present at each event and they alone will be there in person to see the landscape temporarily transformed. We hope to make it possible for anyone to take part. The Lumenators will also be invited to share their stories of connection or disconnection with the landscape, before, during and after each event. These stories matter. They are at the heart of Green Space Dark Skies.

Dorset AONB © Tony Gill, Dorset AONB
Dorset AONB © Tony Gill, Dorset AONB

Green Space Dark Skies is the result of a collaboration between Walk the Plank, Siemens, National Parks UK, the University of Salford, and with The National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Extraordinary Bodies, the collaboration between Diverse City and Cirque Bijou, Activate Performing Arts, Red Herring Productions and CC-Lab. Walk the Plank is working with the National Trust as creative and delivery partners in a number of locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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.

Each event will depend on the confirmation of landowner permissions, approval of event plans and local stakeholder engagement and therefore event locations and dates may be subject to change. Final dates and locations to be announced soon. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to find out.

England: Peak District National Park (23 April); Dartmoor National Park (May); Exmoor National Park (28 May); Dorset AONB (11 June); Broads National Park (15 June); North York Moors National Park (date tbc); and The Chilterns AONB (15 July).

Northern Ireland: Lagan Valley AONB (30 April); Sperrin AONB (25 June) and Causeway Coast AONB (2 July).

Scotland: Cairngorms National Park (13 August) with more locations to be announced soon.

Wales: Gower AONB (13 May); Brecon Beacons National Park (6 July) and Anglesey (date tbc).

Funded by: HM Government, Northern Ireland Executive, Scottish Government, Welsh Government & Delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council, Event Scotland & Creative Wales

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is funded and supported by the four governments of the UK and is commissioned and delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council, Creative Wales and EventScotland.

Green Space Dark Skies part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK

23 April – 30 September 2022

Presented by: Walk the Plank, Unboxed, Siemens, National Parks UK, University of Salford. Partners are: Landscapes for Life, extraordinary bodies, CC-Lab & activate performing arts

To take part in Green Space Dark Skies register at https://greenspacedarkskies.uk/

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UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK

1 March – 2 October 2022

Unboxed2022.uk

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Posted On: 22/03/2022

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