Solar Flare/Earth Shield – Join Our Three-Day Festival of the Solstice
Art, science and family-friendly entertainment with a cosmic theme come together at Dumfries and Galloway’s magnificent Crawick Multiverse
An extraordinary fusion of art, science and entertainment takes place this weekend at Solar Flare/Earth Shield – a three-day Festival of the Solstice.
The events are at the 55-acre Crawick Multiverse artland, and in the nearby town of Sanquhar. There will be music, performance, the unveiling a major artwork by Charles Jencks and talks by leading scientists such as Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell – discoverer of pulsars.
The festival runs from 24-26 June, reaching a climax on the Sunday with a day of family-friendly activities at Crawick Multiverse. Final preparations have just been taking place for a day that will see:
- A procession featuring a dozen riders a pipe band and dancers
- A cosmic treasure hunt
- The unveiling of Jenck’s new mosaic entitled Solar Flare/Earth Shield
- 40 costumed performers from Oceanallover staging a work called Not to Scale.
The grand finale will come with The Burning of the Multiverse and a performance of Queen of the Night by soprano opera singer Claire Egan.
There may also be an appearance by the fabled Moon Unicorn.
Charles Jencks said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming everyone to an extraordinary fusion of art, science and entertainment. To bring together artists, world renowned scientists, superb performers and so many members of the local community is quite wonderful – and will be a huge amount of fun.”
The festival marks the first birthday of Crawick Multiverse where Charles Jencks regenerated a former open caste coalmine to create a world-class artland and visitor attraction inspired by the themes of space, astronomy and cosmology.
Artland Patron, The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, said: “The solstice marks the first birthday of this unique site, conceived and designed by world-renowned land artist Charles Jencks, in partnership with Buccleuch Estates.
“Over the past three years, Crawick Multiverse has transformed an opencast coal mine into a breathtakingly beautiful artland that has welcomed 13,000 visitors this year.
“We are delighted that Crawick Multiverse is rapidly becoming a regional hub for artistic and scientific activity as well as for education. Our aim is to inspire creative thinking and encourage interdisciplinary debate.”
The festival is pushing forward these aims by bringing together Crawick Multiverse, Buccleuch Estates and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Highlights include:
- Friday: RSE President, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the discoverer of pulsars, talks at Sanquhar town hall on ‘Our Universe in Pictures, Poetry and Music’. Opening of Landscape of Waves – an exhibition by Charles Jencks and Alex Rigg Hosted by A’ The Airts at the Merz Studio, Queen’s Road, Sanquhar.
- Saturday: Lectures around the theme ‘Our Sun, Our Star’ at Sanquhar Town Hall, organised by the RSE. The speakers are leading scientists Professor Ineke De Moortel of the University of St Andrews, Professor Yvonne Elsworth FRS of the University of Birmingham, Professor Lyndsay Fletcher of the University of Glasgow and Professor Jim Wild of the University of Lancaster.
- Sunday: Festival of the Solstice comes to the Crawick Multiverse with performances by schools, artists and community groups plus the unveiling of Sun Flare – Earth Shield.
Many local schools and organisations are involved in the festival such as Kirkconnel and Kelloholm Gala Committee, The Sanquhar Riding of the Marches Association and Upper Nithsdale Youth Pipe Band.
For more information or to buy tickets for the summer solstice festival activities, visit www.crawickmultiverse.co.uk. Keep track of what’s happening at the Crawick Multiverse via the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/crawickmultiverse or check out @CMVerse on Twitter.