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Striking musical installations from Dandelion encourage Scotland to ‘sow, grow and share’

Dandelion's musical, edible garden cubes will be touring the Highlands, visiting Forres, Inverness and Wick. Supplied by Event Scotland
Dandelion's musical, edible garden cubes will be touring the Highlands, visiting Forres, Inverness and Wick. Supplied by Event Scotland

A festival designed to inspire Scots to grow their own food has been launched today.

The Dandelion programme will follow the arc of the growing season and bring together science, technology, art and music to inspire people to “sow, grow and share” – not just food, but music, ideas and knowledge.

All over Scotland, the free programme will demonstrate that growing your own food can be easy – and aims to make doing so as accessible as possible.

The team will travel the country, with stops lined up in Forres, Inverness, and Wick.

Dandelion has already distributed a series of edible gardens around the country, but now these are to become touring musical installations on wheels – known as cubes – and will stop off at places including Inverness Botanic Gardens.

Innovation on wheels

These sleekly designed cubes blend together horticultural skill and technological innovation.

They are part of a series of musical installations, featuring programmable light and quadraphonic sound.

Each cube will showcase unique commissioned music from 15 Scottish and international artists, including Craig Armstrong, Arooj Aftab & Maeve Gilchrist, and Jason Singh.

The cubes will visit sites in Wick and Thurso, Uist, Alness and Forres.

Musical director, Donald Shaw believes the musical cubes will provide “a space for contemplation and for us to imagine a future where we sow, grow and share differently.” Supplied by Event Scotland

Dandelion’s musical director, Donald Shaw recognises the unique relationship between horticulture and music.

“Just as plants can grow from tiny seeds, great music can grow from small ideas that we nourish till they bloom into full art forms,” he said.

“The cubes can demonstrate accelerated growing in a wide range of settings, both the expected and unexpected.

“Placed in a particular environment they create a micro-world within a world, allowing musicians and listeners to imagine a sonic landscape that surrounds us, providing a space for contemplation and for us to imagine a future where we sow, grow and share differently.”

‘Fusing ideas and imagination’

Funded by the Scottish Government, Dandelion is Scotland’s contribution to Unboxed, a celebration of creativity taking place this year.

Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “The principles at the heart of the Dandelion projects and celebrations – of sharing ideas, knowledge and bringing together expertise for the common good – are more important than ever.”

The cubes displayed at the dandelion festival.
The Cubes of Perpetual light are engineered to foster the accelerated growing of seedlings under LED lights. Supplied by Event Scotland

Paul Bush, director of events at Visit Scotland, said: “Dandelion is an incredibly diverse and exciting addition to Scotland’s events landscape this summer, fusing ideas and imagination from right across the creative spectrum.

“It’s wonderful to see artists, scientists, and technologists coming together to create a unique events programme that will inspire audiences and visitors right across Scotland to think positively about how we can all play our part in shaping a sustainable future.”

Dandelion’s team of growing specialists will also be distributing plants and offering advice during a “free for all event”  at Bught Park in Inverness on July 23.

Dandelion festivals will run in Northern Meeting Park, Inverness between Friday, September 2-4. To find out more, visit the Dandelion site. 

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