Invitation to join Green Space Dark Skies

DORSET-based Activate is joining forces with outdoor arts company Walk The Plank this summer, inviting hundreds of local people to come together one evening in June, to create art that connects with the landscape of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The project, Green Space Dark Skies, is part of a UK-wide celebration of creativity in national parks and AONBs across the country. The aim is to find a new way of seeing the landscape and encourage people to care for the planet for future generations.

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.

For the Dorset project on Saturday 11th June, Activate and Walk the Plank are recruiting 1,000 local people to participate in the gathering, to work with artists to forge powerful collective connections to the landscape.

The artworks will be created at dusk by participants from the area, known as Lumenators. Guided along pathways or waterways and carrying smart lights that are sensitive to the night-time environment, the digital choreography will be captured on film and available to watch online afterwards.

Each short film will incorporate the stories of the people and places featured. Lumenators will also be encouraged to share their own connections to the landscape and the local areas as part of their involvement

Across Britain, 20,000 people will be taking part in this digital celebration of landscape, from the Cairngorms to the Chilterns, Gower to North York Moors and Dartmoor to the Lagan Valley in Northern Ireland. The first gathering will be in the Peak District National Park on 23rd April.

Walk the Plank creative producer John Wassell says: “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 for this project, the lighting technology uses existing wireless programmable low impact lights but for the first time incorporates 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 team is working with Dark Skies representatives in many locations to explore how the project might highlight issues around light pollution in towns, cities and rural landscapes to support wildlife to flourish. John Wassell describes the moment when darkness falls and the lights are switched off as “the most important collective act of connection between people and nature within each event.”

The exact locations will only be revealed to the people 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 and everyone can watch the films of each event online.

If you want to join in and become a Dorset Lumenator you can register at https://greenspacedarkskies.uk/