Sign up to join the event of the season in The Chilterns. Enjoy a mass picnic, music from local artists and take part in a stunning choreographed light display at dusk.
The Chilterns Green Space Dark Skies event: Friday 15 July from 4pm.
Become a Lumenator and be part of a unique Green Space Dark Skies gathering celebrating the wonderful landscapes of the UK. This event in The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, close to Luton features local artists, choreographer Suba Subramaniam, contemporary folk musician Jim Carey Connell and music company KADAM.
Green Space Dark Skiesis a series of 20 large-scale outdoor artworks in the UK’s most outstanding landscapes as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, from April to September 2022. Green Space Dark Skies is led by outdoor arts experts Walk the Plank.
The mass gathering atThe ChilternsArea of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) will be accessible, easy to reach and just 8 miles from Luton. There will be BSL interpretation available, and the site is accessible to wheelchairs.
Choreographer and artistic director of Sadhana Dance, Suba Subramaniam will choreograph The Chiltern’s gathering. Suba is joined by local playwright Teresa Burns and contemporary folk musician Jim Carey Connellto create a special experience for Lumenators on the night. There will also be live music and dance performances created by local artists including Luton-based dance and music company KADAM.
Jim Carey Connell composer said: ‘Whilst the Skylark finishes her song, a samba whistle hails the arrival of thousands of celebrants and Lumenators from many backgrounds. A communion of tribes comes flooding into the landscape to chuckle, dance and have a lark, to blow away the cobwebs acquired in isolation, to drink deeply of fresh air and to draw renewed heart from company. The music and voices pause for thought as we will enjoy the faces of celebration toward the conclusion of the day’s festivity with sweeping illumination. And then, as the humans depart the landscape for their shelters, nature is left to its nocturnal watch.’
To protect this amazing place, only people who have registered will be taking part and the exact location will not be revealed to the general public. The gatherings will not have spectators, but anyone can take part as long as they sign up in advance.
If people can’t be there on the night but want to share a story about their relationship with the Chilterns, or any other green space, they can contribute to the online Green Space Stories platform, Green Space Stories.
Dr Elaine King, Chief Executive Officer, Chilterns Conservation Board said: ‘We’re excited to work with Walk the Plank on this outdoor arts experience for the local community. We hope the event will provide a new way to spend time in nature. Research has shown that engaging with nature is beneficial to our wellbeing and those connected to nature do more to help conserve it.’
Participants will each be given a smart light developed by graduate engineers at Siemens, and this enables the digital choreography to be captured on film, while also being sensitive to the night-time environment. Each short film will incorporate the stories of the people and places featured and will be broadcast online after the event. The lighting technology uses existing wireless programmable low impact lights, and incorporates something that’s never been done before: the ability for these lights to be animated through geo-positioning.
The team is working with Dark Skies representatives to ensure the project helps highlight issues around light pollution in our towns, cities and rural landscapes.
John Wassell, Creative Producer said: ‘Many people who live in towns and cities have never seen a truly dark sky and are unaware of the negative impact of too much bright light on our wildlife. The moment when darkness falls, and we switch the lights off, is going to be the most important collective act of connection between people and nature within each event.’
Walk the Plank is working with the National Trust as creative and delivery partners in a number of locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
John Packman, CEO of the Broads Authority, lead CEO for National Parks UK Communications and one of the National Parks CEOs leading the Parks for Everyone Delivery Plan in England said: ‘Green Space Dark Skies is all about helping people to discover the joys and benefits of getting out into nature and celebrating the role and value of protected landscapes in a modern society. It’s a perfect fit with our mission as National Parks.’
Each gathering will celebrate the unique elements of the local landscape, the chalk of the downs or the sound of the skylark and inspire people to explore it as well as encouraging responsibility to take care of it for future generations.
Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK said: ‘Green Space Dark Skies perfectly demonstrates the innovation and creativity we have seen harnessed through the development of the ten UNBOXED projects to explore new ideas for a better future. We are proud to be engaging the most incredible artists, engineers, landowners and members of the public in the UK to create this series of unique experiences.’
To register for Green Space Dark Skies in The Chilterns visit: greenspacedarkskies.uk/events/england-chilterns-aonb and watch the films from previous gatherings here: greenspacedarkskies.uk/films.