Create a virtual universe, see spectacular costumed performance and hear talks by leading space scientists at cosmic event in Sanquhar.
Spectacular costumed performers and the unveiling of a major new artwork at Crawick Multiverse will be at the heart of Scotland’s Cosmic Collisions this weekend.
The event will also include talks by leading international space scientists, artists and architects at the nearby Sanquhar Town Hall, starting on Friday and running throughout Saturday.
Visitors will also be able to make their own origami universe, try a Galaxy Making Machine and use a virtual reality headset to witness the evolution of a cosmos at an accompanying exhibition called Cosmic Collisions: birth, rebirth and the universe.
The activities at Crawick Multiverse are ticketed separately from the talks and the exhibition is free.
Charles Jencks, Cosmic Collisions organiser and creator of the 55-acre space and astronomy themed Crawick Multiverse artland in Dumfries and Galloway, has spent months designing and building the large new artwork called Galactic Collisions.
Charles said: “The whole event will be a wonderful mix of art and science – with lots to see, do and enjoy including a superb and colourful performance from Oceanallover.
“We are so lucky that our events attract some of the world’s leading figures from science and the arts.
“It’s going to be very exciting, with the Galaxy Making Machine and other attractions at the exhibition, talks by scientists at the forefront of space research and the chance to see the new installation at Crawick Multiverse.”
Dumfries and Galloway based Oceanallover will present Sea Hames, their latest performance project, which is partly inspired by the Norse legends of Arvak and Alsvith, the horses that pull the sun’s chariot across the sky (see notes below).
Sea Hames (which is also inspired by Orkney’s Festival of the Horse and Boys Ploughing Match) is a multi-disciplinary performance fusing compelling music and bold costume design to explore the mythology and iconography of the horse, the plough and the land.
The Galactic Collisions installation explores how some collisions can be incredibly destructive while others are highly creative. One of its key features is two large circular rusty saw blades, shaped like spiral galaxies crashing into each other.
The unveiling of Galactic Collisions by Charles Jencks and the Duke of Buccleuch takes place on Saturday 24 June at 1.45pm with the performance afterwards. It is ideal for all ages and people are invited to take their own picnic or pre-order one when they buy tickets (see https://www.crawickmultiverse.co.uk for details).
Charles said: “On Earth collisions are usually destructive and ugly, as in a car smash-up. In outer space it’s very different – galaxies fly into each other at 250,000mph and it results in the birth of a billion new stars.
“Our own planet would not even have its seasons if it hadn’t been for a huge meteorite strike (called the Moon) that tilted its axis.”
Speakers include Prof. Carlos Frenk, Director of Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, whose computer simulations are pushing forward our understanding of how galaxies and the universe form, and Prof. Monica Grady, who was part of the project to land the Philae probe on a comet.
The accompanying exhibition at Merz Gallery in Sanquhar, includes new paintings by Charles Jencks and interactives from cosmologist Prof. Carlos Frenk’s team.
There will also be previously unseen work by Daniel Libeskind showing how spiral galaxies lie at the heart of his design for Durham University’s Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics building where Prof. Frenk is based.
There will also be pieces by artist Rachel Libeskind in her first ever collaboration with her brother Noam, a cosmologist.