Blue Skies Festival launches as part of Year of Creative Scotland (31/07/2012)
This August [10–12 August] will see the first Blue Skies, Dundee’s festival of kite flying, rainbow chasing and stargazing. Led by Dundee Contemporary Arts, Blue Skies is the first in an ongoing series of festivals bringing together cultural agencies from across the city to present an exciting mix of free events for all ages. Creative Scotland has invested in Blue Skies as part of the Year of Creative Scotland.
- An exciting new festival of free events for all ages – including kite flying and rocket launching workshops at Celebration in the Park
- Guerrilla rainbows created across the city by Alastair McClymont
- Three new commissions by artist Zoe Irvine, Gair Dunlop and Yann Seznec
- Bertolt Brecht's Life of Galileo in partnership with Dundee Rep Theatre and Grid Iron Theatre Company with astronomer Brain Kelly
The festival will begin on 10 August with the lighting of William Mackrell’s sculpture 1000 Candles at DCA. This will be followed by a performance of a specially commissioned sound piece, created by artist Zoë Irvine, to mark the relocation of the original Olympia Swimming Pool. Aqua Aeris will weave voices together with a rich watery soundscape presented in a one-off event accompanied by a spectacular high diving display from Dundee City Aquatics. Friday evening will also see the first of several guerrilla rainbows by Alistair McClymont. Made from the simplest of materials, light and water, the sheets and arcs of shimmering colour will be appearing across the city throughout the duration of the festival.
On 11 August Blue Skies joins forces with Maryfield Community Partnership’s annual Celebration in the Park. DCA, Dundee Science Centre and Dundee Rep will be running fanciful workshops exploring rockets, kites and constellations. This event will also see the first performance of Dundee- based international dance company Smallpetitklein’s work Skywalkers.
Celebration in the Park will be followed by a special presentation of Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht created by Dundee Rep Theatre and directed by Ben Harrison (Artistic Director of the award-winning site specific theatre company Grid Iron) in collaboration with local astronomer Brian Kelly. Presented in the impressive surroundings of the Old Medical School in Dundee University, this event will combine performed readings from Brecht’s powerful play, which depicts Galileo’s crisis of faith and knowledge brought about by his discoveries, alongside a short series of lectures on the astronomy which so upset the 17th century church authorities.
The weekend will also see the temporary colonisation of a small island in the River Tay for 24 hours by a group including geographers and poets led by artist Gair Dunlop. The work entitled Backwater Republic will seek to examine the relation of inner personal space and outer geographical space. Transmissions of text, images and sound will be made from the island to Baxter Park.
The festival will close evening of 12 August, as the night sky is lit up by the Perseid Meteor shower Blue Skies will celebrate this phenomenon with a series of events around the Mills Observatory, the UK’s only full-time public observatory. The evening will include a second performance of Smallpetitklein’s work Skywalkers and another chance to see one of Alistair McClymont’s Rainbows as well as a lecture on the Perseid Meteor shower from astronomer Brian Kelly. The night will culminate in the presentation of a specially commissioned sound installation by artist Yann Seznec which will create musical sounds that will be generated by the location and intensity of the Perseid Shower.
Blue Skies will also include the inaugural event of the Scottish Ideas Forum, Cloudbusting. Running from 10:00 until 17:00 on 10 August, this event will look at innovative ways to approach some of society's big challenges with over 15 invited speakers, including the broadcaster Lesley Riddoch and architect Malcolm Fraser.
Blue Skies is brought together by a partnership of arts organsiations from across the city of Dundee led by DCA. Participating organisations include: Big Sky, Dundee Rep Theatre, Dundee Science Centre, Leisure and Culture Dundee, Smallpetitklien and the University of Dundee.
Annette McTavish, Blue Skies Festival Co-ordinator said:
"We are delighted to be presenting the first ever Blue Skies in Dundee as part of the Year of Creative Scotland. Over the weekend there will be an exciting array of free activities and performances which are open to all ages that we hope will bring some light and sparkle to the city."
David Taylor, Portfolio Manager Special Projects at Creative Scotland commented: “We are delighted to have invested in Blue Skies, a project that brings together all the cultural agencies of Dundee to deliver a popular programme of events and activities. An exciting celebration of kiteflying, stargazing and rainbow chasing, in all their forms - this is another great project taking place in the Year of Creative Scotland 2012.”
For a full listings and information visit www.dundeeblueskies.co.uk.