Last month, the first D-Lux Festival of Light came to Dumfries as part of the Big Burns Supper, bringing warmth, light and curiosity into the town centre at the darkest time of the year. A collection of artists were commissioned to explore new ways to illuminate the darkness, showing that light festivals play an important part in regenerating town centres, and making people think differently about the place in which they live.
D-Lux is a unique partnership with Jardines Funeral Directors. D-Lux have matched their investment with an award from Arts and Business Scotland; an independent Scottish charity who help to nurture the creative, social and commercial relationships that will enrich creativity and cultural engagement across Scotland.
As well as focusing on re-lighting the town centre, D-Lux Festival commissioned a number of artists to bring light installations to Dumfries throughout the week, delighting audiences with performances and engaging participations, and focusing efforts in the heart of the town in front of the Midsteeple.
Artists Kate Drummond and Hannah Fox, also known as Ida Glimmer and Ava Shimmer, were thrilled to be bring ‘Delight’, their ‘constellation cart’ to Dumfries last month. This double act, with their beautiful illuminated ice cream van, portrayed magical shadow puppet stories that brought a little light and a warm glow to the streets.
Throughout the week, the Bakers Oven hosted Concursum; an association of three alternative photography practitioners and artists, Laura Rhiannon Peters, Andrew Billington and Patrick Ballanger. They mainly specialise in a demanding and often temperamental 19th century process called Wet Plate Collodion which requires the pictures to be developed there and then. The process was used to make unique image objects called tintypes, and the pictures they took also appeared in the windows of the town centre over the course of the week.
D-Lux celebrated the lives of artists lost in the last year with their event, ‘Dead Set’. Taking place at The Stove, in association with Blueprint100, the evening featured performances from local musicians as well as a discussion from Dr Sandy Whitelaw from the world leading ‘End of Life Studies’ department of Glasgow University based in Dumfries.
A commission from the Stove Network will saw the second artwork in a series entitled ‘Midnight Streetlight Smalltown Rain’. This interactive installation combined poetry, projection and film, from artists Colin Tennant and Martin Joseph O’Neill.
Artist, Jo Hodges, brought her commission ‘Angels’, to Dumfries town centre as part of the festival of light, where members of the public spotted Angels appearing in unlikely places throughout the town towards the end of the week.