North Light Dunbar shines on town’s heritage

North Light artist in residence Alastair Cook
North Light artist in residence Alastair Cook

North Light Dunbar has this week taken delivery of a tailor made beach hut on the quayside of Victoria Harbour, courtesy of the team and apprentices at Taylor Wimpey Dunbar.

In the Year of Creative Scotland, North Light will shine a spotlight on the town’s heritage, creativity and talent through an exciting season of creative events in the beautiful and unique landscape of Dunbar, made possible by substantial funding from a number of organisations including Creative Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Dunbar Community Council and East Lothian Council.

This innovative celebration of people and place will unfold over the summer season. Visitors will be encouraged to explore and experience the landscape of the town, its harbour and the John Muir Way through the works of 26 national and international artists. The seeds of the works are currently being sown and will emerge as the season progresses into August.

These artists will also be collaborating with local specialists such as the Countryside Ranger, Dunbar SciFest, storytellers, musicians, poets, and with the community to offer an exciting programme of events in the landscape. Lots of activities are free for all ages.

Artist in Residence Alastair Cook will work from McArthur’s store on the Cromwell harbour throughout the summer. Alastair will be getting to know this special place and its people. He will be working with wet plate collodion, an antique photographic technology dating from the 1850s.

Alastair will also be running photography workshops throughout the summer.

The beach hut on Victoria Harbour will be inhabited by a new artist each week and will be at the heart of a series of performances, walks and innovative arts and science workshops; sitting on the John Muir Way it will create a colourful addition to the life of the working harbour.

It will be transformed each weekend for hands-on activities such as making musical instruments from the shore, Ranger pond dipping and mythical storytelling, marine touch tanks, making a camera obscura and a workshop investigating bees.

Stuart Turnbull, chairman of Dunbar Harbour Trust said: “We are delighted to be able to provide such an historic and beautiful setting for North Light, and to be able to continue our commitment to supporting the creative and visual arts in Dunbar.”

Alastair Cook works predominantly with lens-based media as an analogue photographer concentrating on antique technologies and as a filmmaker using 8mm and 16mm film, combining these with digital technology to great effect.

His award winning film and photography is driven by his knowledge, skill and experience as an architect: this mercurial work is rooted in place and the intrinsic connections between people, land and the sea.