Shetland Arts apologises to the residents of Bressay and Lerwick for postponing the illumination, on Bressay, as part of the Mirrie Dancers Illuminations. The next illumination will take place at the Reawick Kirk where the event will be celebrated by a closing, instead of a launch party, on Saturday 30 January. An invitation is extended to anyone who would like to join us for soup, sandwiches and refreshments. For more details on the Bressay illumination and the programme of future events check the press and www.mirriedancers.com or www.shetlandarts.org
All over Shetland people have been surprised and delighted, over the past few months, to discover MirrieDancers illuminations, as they drive through the dark winter nights. These are part of a cross generational project that fuses traditional craft with new technologies taking place at 12 sites throughout Shetland over the winter of 2009/10. This innovative and inspiring project, conceived by artists Nayan Kulkarni and Roxane Permar, was commissioned by Shetland Arts and funded by the National Lottery Inspire Fund. ‘Mirrie Dancers’ is the Shetland term for the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. Now, into 2010 five more sites are about to be illuminated.
The artists, Nayan Kulkarni and Roxane Permar, have been working on this project in response to a Shetland Arts’ commission to create public art for Mareel, using the medium of light. Residents of Shetland have attended light labs working with the artists to create light based artworks, not only for their locality, but also for a set of permanent art installations at Mareel, Shetland’s new cinema, music and education venue, due to open early in 2011. This venue will be a hub and a focus for the creative community and a catalyst for the emerging creative industry sector in Shetland so it is most appropriate that the people of Shetland help to light up this building.
The illuminations of the Floating Tin Shed in Lower Voe and of the Tin Shed in Haroldswick launched the programme, followed by illuminations at Da Giant’s Grave in Lochend and the Sand Dunes at West Sandwick, Yell. The fifth illumination, at The Glasshouses in Tingwall, took place over the holiday period and unfortunately suffered from some technical difficulties due to lack of wind. Although the snow meant fewer visitors viewing the glasshouses illumination, those that did venture out have seen effects caused by the ice and snow that the artists could not predicted.
Both Kulkarni and Permar have delivered projects in a national and international context and bring that experience to MirrieDancers. Multimedia artist Nayan Kulkarni’s work engages with ideas of site specificity, time, technology and perception. These themes are manifested in work that is generated from specific concepts, processes or places through diverse media such as light, video, installation, sculpture and photography. Over the last 15 years Kulkarni has developed a keen interest in the potential of site specific and collaborative practice.
Roxane Permar works in response to issues of location, history and community, using a variety of methods and media including film, textiles and social exchange to realise public art projects, events and sculptural installations. Her work often employs creative collaboration, networking and participation as well as gift-giving and exchange. Her involvement with Shetland began in 1985 and she works locally, nationally and internationally from her Shetland studio.
For full details of the project and to view photographs by Austin Taylor, Mark Sinclair, Davy Cooper and Duncan Turner go to www.mirriedancers.com or www.shetlandarts.org The images are stunning and inspiring. We invite you to visit the sites and see the illuminations for yourself.