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Lumenators required for dark skies events in Orkney, North Ronaldsay and Cairngorms

Sands of Evie in the Orkney Islands.
Sands of Evie in the Orkney Islands. Photo by UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK.

A unique light art project involving more than 1,000 volunteers will map out  the skies across the Cairngorms, Orkney and North Ronaldsay this August.

The new locations, announced today, will be part of a number of places across the UK to be lit up as part of the Green Places Dark Skies project to encourage local people into the special places near where they live.

The new volunteers will join thousands of others across the UK have already signed up to become Lumenators.

Lumenators will carry low impact lights at dusk – and make a short film to be broadcast on the BBC later this year.

To protect the locations, the exact locations will only be revealed to the people who register to become a Lumenator.

There will be no spectators at the events, and numbers will be limited, so only those who sign up to take part will be there in person on the day.

The Green Space Dark Skies project, led by creative company Walk the Plank as part of Unboxed: Creativity in the UK, is aimed at encouraging local people to get out into the landscapes around their own homes, and to take part in sharing the dark sky to people across the globe.

A finale event is also planned for Ben Nevis and Glen Coe on September 10.

Volunteers are called Lumenators

The gatherings will be created at dusk by local participants, referred to as Lumenators.

Volunteers will be guided along pathways or waterways carrying smart lights that will enable digital choreography to be captured on film, while also being sensitive to the night-time environment.

Beaches and headlands will be lit up as part of the project.
Beaches and headlands will be lit up as part of the project.

Each short film will incorporate the stories of the people and places featured and will be broadcast online after the event.

Developed by graduate engineers at Siemen, a hand-held lighting technology, called “geo-lights”, are carried by participants along paths.

The geo-light is a wireless programmable lights and has the ability for the lights to be animated through geo-positioning.

Thrilled to be involved

John Scott, chairman North Ronaldsay Trust said: “North Ronaldsay is thrilled to be involved in this innovative project working with light and place.

“Our event will take place on nearly our first-year anniversary of being awarded the designation of a Dark Skies Island from the International Dark Skies Association which honours our dark nights.

He said: “The use of light art is very apt, as the darkness here makes lights so much more intense, be it the stars of the milky way flowing over our heads, the merry dancers in the north or the beams from the Denishead lighthouse raking across our tiny low-lying island.”

How do you sign up?

Orkney mainland – Saturday August 20

Local residents in Orkney are invited to become Lumenators in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of this interactive work of art.

Lumenators will gather at dusk to form shapes central to local folklore and mythologies.

To sign up for the Orkney Islands event – click here.

North Ronaldsay – Tuesday August 16

Residents of the small island of North Ronaldsay – by invite only – are to participate in this unique event, creating images of astronomical symbols and constellations which will celebrate the island’s Dark Sky Award.

Cairngorms National Park –  Thursday August 11

This event will be taking place both on water and on land. Paddleboarders and kayakers will help to create patterns on the loch. Paddleboarders and kayakers are encouraged to bring their own equipment if they have a paddleboard or a kayak, otherwise there will be equipment available for Lumenators to use on the day.

To sign up for Cairngorms National Park event – click here.

Ben Nevis and Glen Coe – Saturday September 10

For the finale event where the four highest peaks of the nations within the UK are to be illuminated.

To sign up for the Ben Nevis and Glen Coe event – click here.

Events have already taken place in the Peak District, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Dorset, the Norfolk Broads, Lagan Valley, the Sperrins and Gower.

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