Lumenators celebrate creativity with huge countryside artwork

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.

By Julie-Ann Spence
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 4:09 pm
The River Lagan in spring
The River Lagan in spring

Gathering at designated Northern Ireland locations at dusk, including a site in Lagan Valley on April 30, which has yet to be revealed, 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 April 23, with the finale in September featuring events in all four nations of the UK.

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    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.

    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.”

    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 wil 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.

    If you would like to take part register at greenspacedarkskies.uk/get involved/