Each of the principal works – by well-known and emerging Scottish and international artists – will take an imaginative and surprising look at ideas about land and power.
Matt Baker, festival co-curator, said: “There has been overwhelming enthusiasm for the festival, with artists from all over Scotland, the rest of the UK, Europe and even from as far away as Australia wanting to take part.
“Our four main commissions are highly intriguing and will encourage debate about sustainability, future lifestyles and the role of art in a world facing immense challenges in areas like energy and climate change.
|Cinema Sark imagery - John Wallace|
● Cinema Sark, Gretna
By artist and filmmaker John Wallace and ecosystem modeller Prof. Pete Smith of the University of Aberdeen
Beneath the nine lanes of the M74 and the signpost welcoming travellers to Scotland lies the River Sark – the boundary since 1552. Next year’s referendum could see its significance in geopolitics increase, once again becoming the line of separation between sovereign states.
Inspired by ecosystem services modelling, Cinema Sark looks at the identity of the river – following it from where it rises in the peat bogs, through Gretna to the Solway Firth. The video art installation will look at the river’s wildlife and ecology, its importance to farming and the economy and will include interviews with local residents and workers about what the river and 'the border' mean in their lives. Four pieces of film will be shown simultaneously on a 14m long screen suspended directly on the line of the border beneath the bridge as cars and trucks thunder overhead. Live data from environmental sensors will modulate the show to make every viewing unique.
John said: “We wanted to look at the physical reality of what the border between Scotland and England really is. Most people barely notice they are on a bridge when the cross the Sark, though they might just register the rattle of the joints. But this is an important place, and is becoming ever more so as the referendum approaches.”
|The Rise and Fall of the Grey Mare's Tail|
● The Rise and Fall of the Grey Mares Tail, Galloway Forest Park, Grey Mare's Tail, Clatteringshaws
By 29-year-old Glasgow-based artist James Winnett
The immense energy of a river will power a foaming five-metre gravity-fed fountain located downstream from a dramatic forest waterfall. The fountain will encourage people to question how we manage our environment and will explore issues about of sustainability, energy use and landscape identity.
James said: “It will be a real surprise and quite a spectacle, rising up from a river in a way that looks quite natural, yet clearly can’t be. So much of what we like to think of as wild is actually the result of management and I hope it will encourage people to look around and think about what is truly wild and what is the result of hundreds, even thousands of years of human intervention.”
● Gimme Shelter, Anwoth Old Kirk
By Dutch environmental artists Pat Van Boeckel & Karin Van Der Molen
Made famous by its use as a location in The Wicker Man, the kirk has long been a roofless ruin. Pat and Karin will use large video screens to partially reroof the building. Visitors will be able to relax on cushions and watch a film on the temporary ceiling high above. Their project encompasses more than just a video, it explores in a wider sense just how much goes into creating something as basic as the rafters for a roof – sometimes needing trees that have been growing for hundreds of years. It will raise the issue of sustainability and how each generation needs to prepare for the needs of those who will follow.
Pat said: “We want to look at the resources that society needs. The project will invite visitors to take part in the virtual restoration of this church, even if it takes centuries to grow the oaks that were needed for a new roof.”
● Glimpse, Barony College, Dumfries
By Scottish artists Donald Urquhart and Will Levi Marshall
All 200 trees in a woodland will be used to create an optical illusion that looks as if a metre-high section has been sliced through every trunk – allowing the sky to be seen through the middle. The effect will be achieved by wrapping hand-tinted sky blue bands of paper round each tree at a specific height, which will be precisely calculated using laser sighting equipment. Viewed from a particular point all the bands will line up creating a “plane of disappearance”.
Donald said: “The idea is to create a horizontal line that makes it seem like a metre of the forest has disappeared and you can see right through. We will be making a painting with the woodland, in fact it may even be Europe’s largest watercolour. It involves working with nature to create an effect, but one that does no damage, so at the end of the festival the paper is removed and the woodland returns to its original beauty.”
While visitors will be able to enjoy all the main commissions throughout the core festival period, each will form the event’s central focus for one day. During that day a range of other activities will take place nearby. These will range from live traditional music and costumed dance to lively discussions and special activities for children.
|Gimme Shelter - Pat Van Boeckel & Karin Van Der Molen|
Oh - and the website is live too now....http://www.environmentalartfestivalscotland.com/Kenneth Fowler, Director of Communications at Creative Scotland commented: “The EAFS is a fantastic initiative exploring and interpreting the region's nature and landscape and our relationship to it in new, challenging and inspiring ways.
“It's great to see these four new commissions as part of the festival across a range artistic practice, involving both emerging and established artists from different parts of Scotland and overseas.”
The festival also includes many other commissions, events, workshops, talks, picnics music etc......AND the much anticipated Satellite weekends...three weekends, each one hosted by a different Regional Arts Hub (for the sharp-eyed...the fourth Hub is hosting some events as part of the Core Weekend) – with details to be announced shortly. And there will be an opportunity to see environmental art sites and exciting permanent commissions in progress across the region.