Festival to show Artists’ Town in whole new Light
An illuminated giant wicker horse, a lantern parade and beautiful designs beamed on to historic buildings.
Those are just some of the stunning visual attractions to grace the Kirkcudbright Festival of Light, which opens tomorrow.
The town has long been famed for the quality of its light which for centuries drew artists to settle and work there.
Kirkcudbright’s contribution to Scottish art earned it the title of the Artists’ Town – a reputation set to grow as the Festival of Light gets under way.
The castle, tolbooth and other prominent places will be lit up during the celebrations, which run until October 14, along with street installations and displays in passageways and windows.
Colin Saul, one of the festival organisers, said: “It’s going to be a real treat – a magical chance to quite literally see the town in a new light.
“We are just putting the finishing touches to everything and are looking forward to welcoming visitors and residents to all the events we have organised.”
The wicker horse, created by renowned artists Alex Rigg and Trevor Leat, will be one of the most striking attractions – towering over visitors in the Harbour Square.
The festival is book-ended by an international programme and will open with recitals by Emma Morwood and Jonathan Fisher, concluding with a concert by the Scottish Ensemble. Both will be on the theme of light.
Workshops by Scottish Ballet will also feature. One is for students at Kirkcudbright Academy and the other is for the public and takes place in the Cochran Hall.
Sally Hobson, former head of creative learning for the Edinburgh International Festival, has curated the programme.
She said: “There’s a real buzz as the festival draws close – people are excited at the chance to enjoy performances by some truly wonderful international performers as part of a festival celebrating the light which makes Kirkcudbright so special.”
The new Kirkcudbright Galleries, which opened earlier this year, will play an important role.
They will host Illumphonium, a dynamic and interactive multisensory music-making installation and will also display a specially commissioned glass sculpture inspired by Kirkcudbright’s light and coastal heritage.
The festival, which is supported by the council, also promises craft workshops, a Diwali celebration, fireworks and a 60s and 70s night called Trip the Light Fantastic.
Free family workshops are being held this weekend where people can make their own lanterns for the following weekend’s parade.
Fairy doors will be displayed in the Soaperie Gardens on Saturday from 1pm to 5pm and on Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
Meanwhile, three quirky beach huts, part of the Kirkcudbright Art and Crafts Trail, have been turned into the smallest opera house (complete with piano), a writer’s retreat and part of a WWI trench.
Also featuring will be a mobile planetarium that will give visitors an idea of what is visible in the heavens.
For the full programme visit the website at http://www. kirkcudbrightlight.com.
Focal point The wicker horse which will tower over visitors at the Harbour Square