Atmospheric forests and ancient Scottish burial sites provide the setting for Half Life, a monumental art installation staged around Kilmartin Glen in Argyll this September.
The brainchild of creative director Angus Farquar, and co-produced by environmental arts charity NVA with the National Theatre of Scotland, the event will tell audiences the story of Scotland’s early Neolithic inhabitants through the media of art, drama, music, lighting and design.
During the day, visitors will be invited on a series of historic walks through the Highland landscape to see bronze-age hill forts, chambered burial cairns and configurations of ancient standing stones. In the evening, an outdoor production will be staged around a circular set by designer James Johnson, constructed from hundreds of felled logs.
Built in partnership with the Forestry Commission, the dramatic wooden structure is ‘designed to echo certain features of the area’s rich history’, says Johnson, and ‘provide a canvas upon which the entire experience can be pinned’.
‘It is an expression of circularity – of the motion of the nearby Corryvreckan whirlpool, the shape of the local wood henges and grinding mill stones, and of the circular motion around the North Pole and North Star,’ he says.
Although the central wooden structure provides the focal point for the fortnight’s festivities, the Argyll project is a collaboration between lighting, sound and set designers from all over the UK and beyond.
‘It’s an incredible way for people to enjoy the surrounding landscape, and to give it enhanced meaning. It’s really powerful stuff,’ says a spokesman for NVA.
Farquar also produced the acclaimed installation ‘The Storr: Unfolding the Landscape’, which took place in 2005.
The event takes place from 4-16 September this year. Further details can be found at www.halflife.org.uk.