Peace in Public Areas

Peace in Public Spaces

Great public spaces are a major attraction when choosing Edinburgh as a place to buy or rent property, and now two of the city’s main areas are to undergo a ‘peaceful’ transformation in time to welcome the onset of spring.

16 Jan 2018

The Mound precinct and St Andrew Square are to become ‘Zen-like’ tranquil portals for several weeks with animated Northern Lights – or Aurora Borealis images – light installations and soothing music.

The event, entitled Edinburgh Lumen, is free thanks to £80,000 of funding from Edinburgh City Council and will make use of a lane beside Jamie Oliver’s city restaurant and the Assembly Rooms.

The event was announced to ensure that Edinburgh’s public spaces are used for the public good as well as for commercial events. It will be launched before Valentine’s Day in February and will include five hours of tranquility each evening.

City leaders claim the event will celebrate a more reflective and peaceful side of the city. The project follows in the wake of successful light installations which have been held in St Andrew Square over the last four years.

Past events included Key Frames, a celebration of stick figures in stop-motion animation, Bloom at last summer’s Edinburgh International Festival and the Georgian Shadows exhibition, which involved key landmarks being lit up as a tribute to the 250th anniversary of the New Town.

The mastermind behind the most recent installation is Squidsoup, working on behalf of the council. Formed from a group of designers, researchers and artists, the collective was the team behind such events as Edinburgh’s Christmas at the Botanics, Pitlochry’s Enchanted Forest and Irvine’s Illumination Festival.

Edinburgh’s culture convener, Donald Wilson, said that the Edinburgh Lumen event was the city council’s ‘most ambitious’ display of its kind to date. He added that the display had been created to complement the landscape, to please the residents of the city and to emphasise the city’s prowess as a year-round hotspot for art and culture.

Edinburgh World Heritage director Adam Wilkinson said that Edinburgh Lumen would ‘hopefully’ persuade residents to get out and about exploring the city at what is traditionally a quiet period in the area. Mr Wilson said that the constellation of lights should help guide Edinburgh into spring as well as draw an ‘impressive footfall’.

Mr Wilkinson said that the event should help residents and visitors see a fresh perspective in terms of Edinburgh ‘incredible historic environment, preventing buildings from being taken for granted.

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