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Introducing – High Street Multiverse

By Martin O’Neill

It’s likely that the Marvel fans among you might already be well acquainted with the ‘multiverse’ theory, for Marvel, an all-too-convenient premise to string-out an empire of franchises and merchandise to rival Dolly Parton’s wig collection.

But for those who think Iron Man’s a cut-price Forman grill, let’s steal from the internet to better explain it…

The multiverse is a hypothetical group of multiple universes.[a] Together, these universes comprise everything that exists: the entirety of spacetimematterenergyinformation, and the physical laws and constants that describe them. The different universes within the multiverse are called “parallel universes”, “other universes”, “alternate universes”, or “many worlds”.

Thanks Wikipedia!

Imagine it. An infinite web of universes born from even the smallest encounters, where realities blur and bend from even the smallest decisions.

Where whole worlds of stories and sorrows, memories and hopes as vivid and colourful as your own exist within each passer-by.

Supported by DGU, the High Street Multiverse is a digital, public art project working with 5 emerging writers from the region, this unique initiative supported writers to craft five individual audio stories to be placed within the town centre of Dumfries, through a specially designed series of QR code sculptures, the artworks will immerse listeners into new imaginative worlds, traversing time and space.

Under the mentorship of writers Des Dillon, Karen Campbell and Karl Drinkwater, emerging writers Carolyn Hashimoto, Davey Payne, Cameron Philips, Kris Haddow and Jasmine McMillan, worked together in a 4 month period to craft 5 unique tales inspired by Dumfries High Street. These immersive and imaginative works were later recorded, mixed, mastered and designed by producer John Dinning to create immersive audio works, adding an exciting new layer to the tales.  

As part of the project’s conclusion an accompanying publication is set to launch on Friday March 11th at the Stove Café, alongside the artworks themselves. The evening will feature talks and readings alongside a preview of the works themselves. This exciting project culminates alongside a creative writing workshop with Multiverse writer Carolyn Hashimoto exploring the doors and portals of the town the next day.

We hope you can join us in celebrating a new imaginative addition to our town centre, where worlds hidden in the undergrowth of the streets or in the reflections of passing strangers will be heard for the very first time.

1000 years from now lies only 5 minutes from here…

High Street Multiverse Launch: Meet the Makers of the Multiverse

March 11 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

High Street Multiverse Writing Workshop: Doors & Portals

March 12 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

This Boon of Pure Water: Writing Workshops with JoAnne McKay

July 25, 2021 @ 2:00 pm 4:00 pm

Dumfries Fountain Project
This Boon of Pure Water: Two Creative Writing Workshops with JoAnne McKay

Join writer JoAnne McKay for two creative writing workshops exploring the celebrations and controversies of providing clean water to the town of Dumfries. What role did the devastating cholera epidemics of 1832 and 1848 play? You’ll develop your own writing to share as part of the Dumfries Fountain Project, which is seeking to restore the landmark High Street fountain to its former working glory. Relaxed, informative and fun, the workshops will take place on two Sunday afternoons in July.

1. The Cholera – Sunday 18th July, 2-4pm

As in 1832, the cholera seems to be more malignant in Dumfries than in any other part of Scotland. Perhaps the peculiar sanitary state of the town may account for this. The river Nith runs through it on one side, and on the other, but at a greater distance, is the large swamp of Lochar Moss; whilst, worse than either, there is no water brought into the town except by carts.

Bells Weekly Messenger, 16th December 1848

Join writer JoAnne McKay on a walking tour of Dumfries exploring the history of the devastating cholera “visitations” in 1832 and 1848, which increased calls for clean, piped water to the town.  Gather impressions and inspiration for your own writing during this relaxed, circular walk which will begin and end at the High Street fountain. Wear stout shoes, dress for the weather and bring something to take notes with.

2. A Magnificent Jet – Sunday 25th July, 2-4pm

The Provost then turned the screw of the pipe which supplies the fountain with water, and forthwith a magnificent jet was thrown up into the air, which continued playing all day afterwards.

Dumfries and Galloway Standard and Advertiser, October 22nd 1851

Using contemporary reports, this indoor writing workshop with writer JoAnne McKay will help you develop new writing on the origin story of the Dumfries Fountain: the politics and processes of bringing piped water to the town – and then keeping the clean water flowing.

100 High Street
Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
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