Cosmic Conversations Explore Spiritual Landscapes and the Far Reaches of Space

Join leading artists, scientists and the men who made the Multiverse for an inspirational series of summer talks and magic in Sanquhar


Four inspirational Cosmic Conversations are taking place this summer – led by artists, scientists and the men who made the Crawick Multiverse.

The talks, at A’ the Airts in Sanquhar, will be followed by the chance to meet the guest speakers while enjoying The Landscape of Waves exhibition at the nearby Merz Gallery.

Speakers will transport their audiences to the farthest reaches of the universe, deep into spiritual landscapes and in the case of Scotland’s Astronomer Royal – there will also be magic. One talk will also look at costume, performance and traditional Sanquhar pattern – among the great contributions the area has made to the world of art and design.

The series begins with How to Build a Multiverse – and What it Means with world-renowned artist Charles Jencks and Alistair Clark, the local landscape gardener who has been the lynchpin of making Crawick Multiverse a reality.

Most recently Alistair laid out the large new mosaic, called Solar Flare – Earth Shield, which was designed by Charles, that is at the heart of the huge amphitheatre which is a key feature of the 55-acre world-class artland and visitor attraction.

The Cosmic Conversations have been designed as a chance to discover more about themes such as astronomy and cosmology that inspired the Crawick Multiverse, which is located between Sanquhar and Kirkconnel.

Charles said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming people to these talks and joining us on journeys into the realms of art and science, space and spirituality.

“It’s really exciting to be able to welcome such a superb group of speakers to Sanquhar to for conversations about a range of subjects all of which are linked to the exhibition, to Crawick Multiverse and to Sanquhar.

“I’m especially pleased to be able to get the series underway in the company of Alistair. He is a remarkable person who has done so much to bring my designs and ideas to life at Crawick.

“I also have the greatest admirations for his love and knowledge of Sanquhar and all the surrounding area.”

The full line up of Cosmic Conversations is:

  • HOW TO BUILD A MULTIVERSE – AND WHAT IT MEANS: Alistair Clark, Landscape Gardener, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation and Crawick Multiverse & Charles Jencks, World Renowned Landscape Artist. Thursday, 11 August, 7pm.
  • BLACK HOLES & WHITE RABBITS: John Brown, Astronomer Royal for Scotland will deliver a talk with a difference – he is also a semi-professional conjurer. His discussion of astronomy and exotic matter will be illustrated by some pretty stunning magic. Sunday 28 August, 7pm.
  • SPIRITUAL LANDSCAPES OF UPPER NITHSDALE: Professor David Munro, Geographer in Residence at Drumlanrig Castle. Prof. Munro will discuss how Crawick Multiverse sits within a landscape rich in churches, chapels and ritual sites. He will discuss what these tell us about how people of the past connected with and interpreted the universe. Saturday, 3 September, 7pm.
  • PATTERNS OF THOUGHT: Alex Rigg, artist, director and performer
and May MacCormick, leading expert in traditional Sanquhar pattern. Alex will discuss the ideas that inspired his spectacular performances and costumes for the solstice events at the Crawick Multiverse in 2015 and 2016. Thursday, 8 September, 7pm.

The Cosmic Conversations are also a great chance to find out more about the Landscape of Waves exhibition which is a collaboration between Charles Jencks and Alex Rigg the Scottish-based multi-disciplinary artist and designer.

It features paintings and sculptures by Mr Jencks, some entirely new and others reflecting the original artistic and intellectual development of Crawick Multiverse.

There are also some of Mr Rigg’s costumes, which have been used in live performances at Crawick, illustrations he made for their design, and a sculpture entitled Black Hole which is a response to Jencks’ ideas.

The five themes of the exhibition are:

  • The Crawick Multiverse
  • Two Galaxies and Two Black Holes
  • A Landscape of Waves
  • Solar Flare – Earth Shield
  • Supercluster and Multiverse.

The Cosmic Conversations take place at A’ The Airts, 8-12 High Street, Sanquhar. Tickets are £5 each, £15 for all four but entry is free to those aged 25 and under.

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