Pupils get set for solstice spectacular

Almost 100 pupils from across Sanquhar and Kelloholm are working hand in hand with a team of talented artists in preparation for the forthcoming Summer Solstice Celebration at Crawick Multiverse on June 26.

A three day festival will take place at the world-class land artwork from Friday, June 24, to Sunday, June 26, with talks, art exhibitions and performances – and local youngsters will play a key role in Sunday’s celebrations.

Pupils from Sanquhar Academy with an interest in art, science and events management have been exploring the past story of Crawick and discussing the stories behind the Multiverse. Based on what they have learned, and taking inspiration from the artland, they have been hard at work writing stories of their own based on geology, people from the past, and the Multiverse.

The pupils’ “Myths of the Multiverse” stories will even be immortalised in print, bound in a book which will feature a contribution from local poet Rab Wilson, who has been working with the pupils.

He said: “I very much enjoyed my time with the young people of Sanquhar Academy working on this project. The kids exhibited some great leaps of imagination in their construction of the myths.

“Stories emerged that mixed time travel, witches, super heroes, eco-disasters and cosmological events, then juxtaposed these themes with material that featured local myths of witches, Borders Riding, ghosts and bogles and traditions of coal mining trades long gone.  Here was a living breathing example of how myths actually evolve – that welding of reality with magic!”

Also involved in the project are P6 pupils from Sanquhar and Kelloholm Primary Schools who have been creating artefacts for the Multiverse inspired by archaeology, physics and cosmology, which they will bring to the Crawick Multiverse on the 26th as part of the celebrations.

The Myths of the Multiverse book and children’s beautiful artefacts will remain on display at the Crawick Multiverse over the summer.

The project has been delivered by Jan Hogarth of arts production company Wide Open, artist Alex Rigg, youth co-ordinator Debbie McDowall and community and Biosphere officer Nic Coombey, with guidance from Curriculum for Excellence officers.

The participating pupils have been tasked with taking charge of delivering their part of the exciting summer solstice celebration, by working in groups focussing on marketing, arts and events, and science.  The workshops have helped to inspire creative thinking and build skills, as well as teaching the youngsters more about this unique community asset on their doorstep.

Sanquhar Academy head teacher, Tom Snow, said: “We are really delighted to see our students’ creative and imaginative ideas being transformed in to such a fantastic resource that many members of the community can enjoy.

“The event on the 26 June will be a brilliant experience for our young people and their families. We are all looking forward to it excitedly!”.

The Sunday event will feature a cosmic playground and treasure hunt and other family-friendly activities, as well as music, performance and a celebration of local tradition.

Renowned landscape artist Charles Jencks, who created the Crawick Multiverse, will also unveil his new addition to the site, a mosaic entitled Sun Flare- Earth Shield representing the ‘dance of life and death between solar flares and the protective rotation/electromagnetism of the Earth.

Principals from Riding of the Marches, a performance from Alex Rigg and Oceanallover, and a fire display and musical performance will also take place on the day.

Organisers expressed their thanks to the Holyrood Trust in supporting the project along with three talented interns from the area – Jenny Wells, Ruaridh Thin Smith and Kerry Annison who have been working hard to help make the festival a success.

You can 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.