Call out for ideas for labs, hacks, experiments, participatory artworks, talks, walks, workshops, games and investigations that explore themes of light, dark, remoteness, networks and connections, place, senses, technology and environment for Sanctuary 2020: Handheld.

Sanctuary is a unique 24-hour public art event exploring darkness, technology and place in the stunning landscape of the Galloway Forest Dark Skies Park. The event is a laboratory for off grid experimentation and brings together artists and audiences with an interest in place, creative participatory experimentation and open conversations. The site is remote, not just from population centres but also from communication and power networks. This remoteness gives artists and visitors the space to consider both the environment and the absence of pervasive contemporary technologies – exploring what is possible by being present in an unconnected place.

The next Sanctuary event will be smaller and we will also be changing the scale of the artworks. We will be commissioning artworks, performances and experiences that are handheld i.e can be carried to Sanctuary by a single person. We are interested in ideas that are intimate or networked – that might move between us as a single entity or touch us all simultaneously. Artists will need to think about how their work responds to and interacts with the site and how to connect with both the human and more-than-human elements present. We are also interested in proposals for talks and are happy to facilitate open conversations that respond to any of the themes of Sanctuary.

Sanctuary takes place on September 19th and 20th 2020 and will be shaped by the ideas we receive. At this stage we are looking for outline ideas; please e mail these to us at We are currently waiting on the outcome of funding bids so financial support for successful submissions will be confirmed at a later date. Deadline for submission of ideas 7th February 5pm

NB Sanctuary is off grid so there are limitations on power available – we see this as an opportunity. Sanctuary takes place in a Dark Skies Park so visible light should be kept to a minimum.

Please get in touch at if you need more information. Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you 🙂


Contribute Darkness, Silence or Remoteness

R—each is an exciting new project for Sanctuary 2017. It’s an online portal that collects creative online contributions from around the world which are then used to create an offline artwork at Sanctuary. R—each will go offline for 24 hours from Noon on 23rd September. In order to witness the offline work you must travel to Galloway Forest Dark Skies Park to be present.

This year artist Tim Shaw will be using your contributions to make a new work at Sanctuary: Going Dark so please get involved and send your contributins via the R—each portal.

Image: Seth Tisue

Sanctuary’s signature neon installation, Enclosure, last year attracted hundreds of bats. Freda Seddon from Dumfries and Galloway Bat Group will lead  a walk to the installation for a sonic experience using bat detectors to tune into the echolocation calls of the bats as they swoop over the installation catching insects. This really is a unique experience and not to be missed.

Meet 7.30pm at Murray’s monument Car Park

More at

Please note there is no access to the high voltage neon installation unless in an accompanied group.

Alec Star (GlowB Below)[6]We’re very pleased to announce two new interactive works coming to Sanctuary. John Wallace and Graham Rooney will be joining us with Entropy Lure, a work that uses live video projection and vintage and cutting edge thermographic cameras to reveal the heat signature of our vital energy as it dissipates into the universe.

Unicorn Diagragm will also joining us with Nightlight – 2 . A shadow catcher. Caught between a projector and a screen, our shadows are recorded – indefinitely layering brief moments in time. Separated from their owners, the anonymous community of shadows take on identities of their own.

Both these experimental works will take place during the hours of darkness and we’re very much looking forward to experiencing them.

More information at

Lost-CosmonautWe are looking for submissions of short experimental films to be screened on our Mirror screen installation. The installation consists of two circular screens showing a mirror image of  each other. The 10 foot screens are situated on one side of a river, watched by the audience on the other side with wireless headphones. A unique experience.

We are looking for short films of less than 5 minutes that would work in this setting: experimental, abstract. This is an opportunity to have work shown in an exciting and unusual context.

Deadline is 16th September

For further information, please contact

Centaurus A is a bright galaxy about 13 million light years from Earth. The image is a composite of optical, millimetre and X-ray observations

We’re pleased to announce that Professor Martin Hendry will be joining us at Sanctuary and giving his fascinating talk “More Than Meets the Eye”, taking us on a journey through the unseen cosmos. Modern astronomy is about much more than the light our eyes can see: celestial objects emit light across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from gamma rays to radio waves. Exploring this spectrum reveals a violent and awe-inspiring cosmos of exploding stars, colliding galaxies, even the fading echoes of the Big Bang itself.

Martin will also be leading a stargazing walk, a guided tour of Galloway’s night skies, exploring the fascinating science behind familiar planets, stars and constellations.

Martin Hendry is Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Glasgow, where he is also currently Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy. Martin is a passionate enthusiast for public engagement in astronomy and was until recently a “Science in Society” Fellow for the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s National Academy, and in 2015 was awarded the MBE for services to public understanding of science.

More information :

Talk 8pm. Stargazing walk 10pm. (These are provisional times, please check the programme nearer the event)


Work by Tim Shaw and Sébastien Piquemal. Image Chris Scott
Work by Tim Shaw and Sébastien Piquemal. Image Chris Scott

We’re pleased to announce the artists who will be bringing new work to this years Sanctuary.

Broken20 are presenting a multi-platform participatory ensemble work entitled BrokenLight. Jamie Clements and Nick Millar are creating Eternal Silence, an interactive installation based on the final morse code message sent by the French Navy in 1997; ‘Calling all. This is our last cry before our eternal silence’. Chris Dooks will present Schellackplatten Triangulated, a live mix of rare 78s for at least three beautifully irritable gramophones. ZoĂ« Irvine & Kuchke will bring Ć UMA, a sound work combining vocal performance, radio transmission and woodland, and Tim Shaw and Sébastien Piquemal are developing Murmurate, a site-responsive performance which uses the audience’s personal smartphones and tablets as a sound diffusion system.

Check out the following link for more info

An amazing line up so far and theres more to come…. Thanks to Alt-w and the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere for supporting these works.