Sneak preview organised for locals ahead of official launch

Scotland’s new £1million work of land art, the Crawick Multiverse, will be unveiled to the public with a spectacular launch event on the summer solstice, Sunday June 21.

1 a 1 a multiverse 3The new ‘cosmic landscape’ near Sanquhar in Dumfries and Galloway, which has transformed a former open cast coal mine into a stunning visitor attraction, will open with an unforgettable day of music and performance.

The new 55-acre artland and public amenity – inspired by the themes of space, astronomy and cosmology – has been created by the world-renowned Charles Jencks and funded by the Duke of Buccleuch.

The opening of the Crawick Multiverse will be marked with a programme featuring music, poetry and performance.

Scottish artist Alex Rigg from Oceanallover will take the audience ‘on a journey through space on time’, using dance-theatre, sculpted costumes and a cast of 30 performers to help visitors explore the unique artland.

He said: “We will present a performance that helps to make a link between people and landscape, inviting the audience to look at forms of earth, rock and sky alongside those of the human body.

“Both audience and performers will pass through the Crawick Multiverse like a comet passing between the stars and planets, tails streaming away from the sun on a journey whose beginning and end are unknown.”

The event is expected to attract thousands of people from across Scotland and beyond.

Performances will take place from 12-2pm, 2-4pm and 4-6pm, culminating in a symbolic burning of the multiverse landform on the site.

Tickets cost £10 for adults, £7.50 concession, £5 for children and under 5s go free, and family tickets cost £25 – available from www.crawickmultiverse.co.uk/launch-event.* They are also on sale via A’ The Airts in Sanquhar and the Kirkconnel Parish Heritage Society.

Parking will be available at the site but spaces are limited so must be pre-booked online. Simply select a free parking ticket when purchasing admission tickets via the Crawick Multiverse website.1 a 1 a multi verse 2

Attendees are encouraged to use a free shuttle bus service which will operate from two pickup points – Sanquhar Train Station, and Kirkconnel Bus Stand at the bottom of Holmhead. They will run at least every 15 minutes from 11.30am-6.30pm.

Buses will also run from Glasgow (George Square), Edinburgh (Waterloo Place) and Dumfries (White Sands) – tickets cost from £7-£13 and can also be purchased online.

As the big event approaches there is good news for locals from the areas nearest to the Crawick Multiverse – Sanquhar, Kelloholm and Kirkconnell – who won’t have to wait quite so long to see the new artland on their doorsteps.

They will have the honour of setting foot on the site before the general public at a special ‘sneak preview’ event on Friday, June 19, two days ahead of the official launch.

The preview also promises to be a day of music, art and performance with the entertainment provided by members of the local community.

More than 750 school pupils from the area – along with Guides, Brownies, Scouts, Boys’ Brigade and other community groups – are busy preparing for their part in the special event.

Youngsters from Sanquhar and Kelloholm Primaries have been working hard on a mosaic of the Crawick Multiverse based on sketches provided to them by Charles Jencks, and their finished work will be a ‘legacy piece’ to go on display at the site.

Members of Sanquhar Riding of the Marches and Upper Nithsdale Youth Pipe Band will lead a procession of local groups, carrying ‘celestial objects’ they have made, into the site’s amphitheatre; Sanquhar Silver Band will give performances as visitors view the site, while choirs from both primary schools will join Sanquhar Academy’s choir to give a performance. Members of Sanquhar Pattern Design have also been working hard to produce patches featuring the distinctive Sanquhar pattern which will be incorporated into the costumes worn by performers at Sunday’s event.

The invitation to the free ‘sneak preview’ event is extended to everyone in the areas of Sanquhar, Kelloholm and Kirkconnel.

Transport has been arranged to take school pupils to the site, and other members of the community who wish to attend are encouraged to utilise the free shuttle bus services which have been organised.

Buses will run throughout Friday, June 19th, between 11.30am and 3.30pm, leaving from two pick up points – Sanquhar Train Station and Kirkconnel Bus Stand at the bottom of Holmhead. They will run at least every 15 minutes.

To find out more about the Crawick Multiverse and the launch weekend – and to buy event or bus tickets – visit www.crawickmultiverse.co.uk. More information can also be found on the Crawick Multiverse Facebook page.