August 31st sees the seventh staging of Nithraid, Dumfries’ River Festival that takes place on and around the river Nith. Nithraid is a fun family event and a celebration of the town’s long relationship with its river, highlighting the way the Nith connected Dumfries to the rest of the world through trade, goods (including Coos) and sailpower. Nithraid is an opportunity for the Stove to work in partnership with a diverse range of community groups, projects and local agencies to help deliver Nithraid every year and showcase the amazing community activity in our area.
For the third year in a row, the Nithraid festivities will continue into the evening with ‘Nithraid Nighttime’, featuring a specially commissioned light installation called ‘Nithlight’. The installation takes place on the Mill Green and the River Nith to be experienced from a distance and close up during the hours of darkness from 8pm.The commission is being delivered by a collective of young emerging artists, and led by artists Emily Tough and Philip Mair. The group of artists came together through the Blueprint100 ‘100 Moves’ project, led by Helmut Lemke, which helped young artists develop their creative ideas for a professional environment.
The young artists were inspired by this year’s Nithraid theme of salt – it’s history, mythology and uses. Their installation will focus on Paganism and the Celt’s harvest and use of salt in the region, presenting a beautiful lit environment on the Mill Green for people to enjoy as they move around the town that evening. From close up and across the river, the public will see a flotilla of sails illuminated by patterns created in salt on a vibrating plate known as a chladni plate. There will also be a sculpture in salt and contributions by other artists mixed around the main sails installation.Emily Tough commented: ‘We are really excited to have this opportunity to produce a piece of work for the annual Nithraid River Festival. It is brilliant that Dumfries is backing it’s young artists and giving them a chance to work at this scale at such a high profile event. We hope to see as many people as possible stop by the Mill Green on 31st August to enjoy our installation full of curiosity and light!’