Part treasure hunt, part performance, part ritual, Beacons explores new ways of reaching audiences and embedding story in landscape, culminating in a collectively created light installation on the beach. It seeks to address…
Part treasure hunt, part performance, part ritual, Beacons explores new ways of reaching audiences and embedding story in landscape, culminating in a collectively created light installation on the beach. It seeks to address social inequalities and responds to the climate crisis by invoking a sense of shared responsibility and joyfulness in our community and the natural world.
One hundred ancient sea gooseberries have washed ashore from the past and become stranded in the landscape during a storm. They need our help to find and reunite them, via a treasure hunt that engages with places and people around the landscape of the town, co-built by the local community through a program of workshops. The gooseberries light up when they are found and are taken home to be cared for by their finder, until after 3 weeks, the signal to assemble is given - the gooseberries must be brought to the beach, where they will share their secrets with us in an epic performance of light and sound.
Alison is working with composer Emily Peasgood to create the voices of the sea gooseberries, drawing on ancient texts and composing a site responsive score that embeds in the landscape and community of Folkestone and then tours to other seaside towns around the country. The music will be performed live by 6 local singers, and carefully crafted to work with a co-created choreography on the beach, where the sea gooseberries and their finders become a moving light installation with echoes of ancient ceremony and rituals of togetherness. Creative technologist Tarim is creating the gooseberry magic, and has created our interactive website map alongside Ellie Foreman.
We are working with many local businesses and organisations to make the project a success, including Kent Refugee Action Network, Kent Libraries, Folkestone Quarterhouse, and Kent Wildlife Trust. The work is produced by SparkedEcho.
We tested the project in Folkestone in Autumn 2019, and (pandemic permitting!) hope to realise the full work in Spring 2021. The gooseberries also appeared at Cheriton Light Festival, where they were seen by over 3000 people. The initial R&D was funded by Arts Council England, Kent Arts Investment Fund, and Help Musicians UK.