Portishead's Geoff Barrow made a surprise appearance last night at Sanctuary - an experimental music and arts event in the heart of a Galloway forest. Arriving in a camper van after driving 340 miles from Bristol, Geoff and colleague Ben Salisbury performed a set under the name of Drokk, in front of Enclosure, Robbie Coleman's large scale light installation.
Hundreds of music fans, musicians and artists gathered for Sanctuary, which took place in the fields and woodland at the foot of the towering Murrays Monument, miles from the nearest town, in the Dark Sky Park in south west Scotland.
|Robbie Coleman's Enclosure. Image: Mike Bolan|
Ben Ponton, of :zoviet*France, said: "It's a great occasion and really resonates with what we do musically. What we do is informed by our own part of the world in the north of England and this area has some real similarities, it's a fantastic place to perform."
They were also joined by Broken20, who created an eight-hour improvised light and sound event specially for Sanctuary. Dave Fyanes, of Broken20, said: "It's a one off, because the whole thing about this event is its transience. We create something in the moment, and at the end we pack up, leave and it's gone for good."
Sanctuary also featured a lecture by paranormal investigator Innes Smith; film installation work from Rupert Lally and Espen J Jörgensen, Robbie Coleman and Jo Hodges, beside the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall; and the Dark Skies Lounge, where people could hear the music from Dark Skies FM.
|Image: Mike Bolan|
The artists behind Sanctuary are Jo Hodges, Robbie Coleman and Stuart McLean who curated the music.
Jan Hogarth, of Wide Open which co-produced the event, said: "The whole magic of Sanctuary is that it only exists for 24 hours. People gather here from every part of the UK to be part of it - and you can only share the experience if you are here. The whole thing has an otherworldly feel about it - with the landscape lit up by a huge neon sculpture. The audience have loved the chance to mix with all the performers and musicians and to camp out in the forest listening to amazing music and enjoying the art."
Sanctuary was part of Mini EAFS, a curtain raiser for the Environmental Art Festival Scotland 2015. This included the Trading Journeys event by the stove network and the launch of Zero Footprint, a landscape photography work by Leeming + Paterson - both of which were at the Wigtown Book Festival.