In the hush of the gloaming

Image from In a New Light film 2021- c. Gudrun Soley Sigurdardottir and Conor Reilly
Image from In a New Light film 2021- c. Gudrun Soley Sigurdardottir and Conor Reilly
This project has made me feel very confident, chilled and like I don’t have to stress about a thing. I can always be myself and the activities are very fun. Your talent will definitely appear in a project like this: dancing, singing, photographing, making videos, making sounds with your voice and body, writing amazing texts...the project has got it all, I think I got it all.

—Marcel, St Ninians Primary

This year-long performance project engaged P7 pupils from St Ninian's R.C. Primary in Edinburgh in an exploration of the current ecological crisis over several month. Through use of movement, text, vocal experiments, practical research and conversation the work shined a light on what it means to be a young person living through this time and culminated in a film, a performance and an exhibition at the Summerhall in mid June.

The project was created and delivered by Lead Artist Gudrun Soley Sigurdardottir, Trainee Artist Kemono Lebe and RCS Placement Student Catherine Allison. Gudrun talks about the project below: 

Some of the young people at St Ninians have shared their thoughts about the project so far: 

"When trying to describe what the project is and what our process has made us feel like – one of us described it as being like taking a good deep breath. We have been looking at what this means, and what it makes us feel like to take a good deep breath – which has become a metaphor for our exploration of what we collectively want to remember, carry with us and hold onto."

"We have spent most of our process outside, exploring the meadows and working collectively in nature. We have walked around with our eyes closed, guided by our peers. We have walked in complete silence; treading as lightly as possible, as not to disrupt what surrounds us. We have attempted to capture stillness and movement in nature, and we have responded to what we have experienced with vocal experiments and choreographies and writing. We have played music through touch and captured what we want to remember in glass jars. We have done lots of writing about what surrounds us; what we find in nature bigger and smaller than us, what our similarities and differences are and how we experience nature in different ways. We have spoken a lot about how important it is to share what we have done together, but we have also questioned how to make people care about their environments more. We have come to the conclusion that in order to best share what we have experienced, we want our audiences to experience it for themselves; through installation, live performance, film and perhaps most importantly, an invitation to respond creatively to what they witness."

I inhale fresh breezy air as all my issues disappear from existence. A soft cold chill slowly flows through my body, as I feel relaxed. The cold air flies out of my mouth, ready to be released again.. When I take a good deep breath, I feel calm and de-stressed. It makes me feel like I am floating.

A poem written by Layla about the weather, and how we as people are not dissimilar to it:

I drastically change,
Extreme weather pushing me down
Leaves leaving their homes
Gentle winds turning violent
Tiny puddles turn to lakes
I can’t handle this anymore

A poem written by Nathan about a snake:

I slither on the ground
Hissing when people get in my way
Changing from morning to night
A new day comes and I shed my skin
Ready to start afresh

A poem written by Owen about water:

Rain is like a circle,
It pitter patters on the soft ground
With no sound around
It never stops
All the time it’s raining somewhere
From were puddles form into lakes
That form into sees
That lead to rivers
Water is clearly the most powerful thing

In the hush of the gloaming is funded through the PLaCE Programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government - through Creative Scotland - the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals.