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Artwork grows out of former coal site

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By Fiona Reid
Artwork grows out of former coal site

A STUNNING new work of land art will be unveiled this summer in the Dumfries and Galloway, created by world-renowned landscape artist Charles Jencks.


The Crawick Multiverse sits on the site of a former open cast coal mine which is being transformed into a spectacular 55-acre artland, visitor attraction and public amenity.


Materials found on the expansive site, from tonnes of earth to some 2,000 large boulders, were used to create the work of art in Upper Nithsdale in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway. It is expected to provide an economic boost to the local communities of Sanquhar, Kelloholm and Kirkconnel as well as attracting international visitors.


This inspiring new landmark links the themes of space, astronomy and cosmology, with a network of paths navigating features and landforms which represent the Sun, universes, galaxies, comets, black holes and more.


Locals have already had a sneak preview at recent community events in Kirkconnel Miners Memorial Hall and Sanquhar Community Centre, where they had a chance to learn more about the large-scale project taking place on their doorstep.

Attendees had the opportunity to view maps, plans and pictures of the site; were updated on the benefits the site will bring, including job creation, tourism, education and more; and were invited to give their input.


Work on the Crawick Multiverse is nearing completion, with a public launch event scheduled for the summer solstice on June 21.

It is the latest in an impressive portfolio from Charles Jencks, a leading figure in landscape architecture who has created works across the globe, from the UK’s ‘Northumberlandia’ and ‘Garden of Cosmic Speculation’ to Beijing Olympic Park’s ‘Black Hole Terrace’, to name just a few.

Charles Jencks said: “This former open cast coal site, nestled in a bowl of large rolling hills, never did produce enough black gold to keep digging. But it did, accidentally, create the bones of a marvellous ecology.


“The landscape had to be healed, it had to welcome the nearby communities of Sanquhar, Kelloholm and Kirkconnel, and help restore the locality both economically and ecologically – and so the Crawick Multiverse, a new version of an old scientific idea, was born.


“This work of land art, created primarily from earth and boulders on the site, celebrates the surrounding Scottish countryside and its landmarks, looking outwards and back in time.”


The site is managed by the Crawick Artland Trust which includes trustees from the local communities surrounding the site.

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