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Celebrate the Solstice in the Cairngorms National Park

12th December 2011

To celebrate the return to lighter days, a lantern parade will light up the route to new light and sound installation “Sòrn” at Strathmashie Forest, Laggan, on the shortest day of the year (22nd December).

The parade starts at 5pm at the Wolftrax car park, it’s free and anyone of any age is welcome to bring their own lantern and join the parade. Food and hot chocolate will be for sale after the event.

The artwork Sòrn has been created by the artist Gill Russell who has exhibited a number of outdoor installations and her work “Umah” was on show at the Royal Academy in Edinburgh earlier this year.

The sound effects for Sòrn were developed by Gill using extracts from recordings made with the young people from Fèis Spè and their tutor Dave Martin. Sòrn is part of Where Long Shadows Fall, an arts project which has also exhibited at Glenbuchat in Aberdeenshire.

Funded by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), the Cairngorms Local Action Group and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the project celebrates 2011’s UNESCO Year of the Forest by creating artworks in outdoor locations in the Cairngorms National Park which enhance awareness of the heritage of the forest and of the people who live there.

Sòrn is the culmination of the project and has been supported by Laggan Forest Trust who are hosting the exhibition over the winter months.

Iona Malcolm, Projects Officer with Laggan Forest Trust, said: “Laggan Forest Trust felt privileged when the CNPA asked if we would host Gill’s art installation at Strathmashie. As a bonus the project included funds to work with local schoolchildren and along with local company Wild Thinking we have had great fun making their lanterns for the parade. The children are all very excited about seeing them lit up in the forest and the parade to see Sòrn.”

Fiona McLean, Community Heritage Officer with the CNPA and the project manager for the installation, said: “We are incredibly lucky to have attracted an artist of Gill’s reputation to create this art installation as the culmination of the celebrations for the Year of the Forest. Gill’s previous outdoor installations have been incredibly moving, making the links between people and their environment. Gill has chosen the name Sòrn for the artwork, the Gaelic for ‘hearth’ or ‘chimney’, to evoke a meeting place and there will be some Gaelic singing to round off the Solstice event.”

Sòrn is designed to be seen in darkness so anyone wishing to view the installation is advised to visit in the evening. Located on a good forest track five minutes from the Wolftrax car park, Sòrn is well signposted but remember to bring a torch!

For further information about the Solstice lantern parade and the Sòrn artwork contact Fiona McLean.