Fall From Light

Burns And A’That Festival, South Ayrshire.

28th Apr - 5th May 2002
  • Description

Fall From Light was a dark and extraordinary sound and light installation and was not for those of a delicate disposition or with an over-sensitivity to the literal interpretation of Robert Burns’ poetry.

Fall From Light was a bold new commission and centre-piece for the newly inaugurated Burns Festival in South Ayrshire. It celebrated a wholly contemporary and unexpected approach to the Bard’s legacy through a monumental 10 acre sound and light intervention led by designer and artist Simon Costin. Using the same locations that inspired Burns’ epic poem Tam O’Shanter, which includes the most chilling description of a witches’ Sabbath ever written, Fall from Light explored the darker side of life, manifesting and exploring the malign forces that have drawn people to the brink of violent instability over the past 3 centuries.

After dusk, the audience was taken on a journey through the brooding landscape of the famous Auld Alloway Kirk, Brig O’Doon and surrounding woods. Medieval superstitions collided with the thin veneer of Victorian civility and ancient woods revealed stark images of death and hidden suffering. Moving ground, corpse strewn landscapes, live and skeletal birds and trails of fire offered a chilling reminder of what humanity is capable of doing.

“**** – Fall from light….demonstrate(s) the genius with both ideas and atmosphere that identifies it unmistakably as an NVA project”


“**** – A night of Sheer Enlightenment… [Fall from Light] is a fascinating reaction to Burn’s great poem.”
(Joyce McMillan for The Scotsman)


“It’s one Burns celebration where a bottle of whisky may come in handy to steady the nerves”
(Rachel Devine for The Sunday Times)


Related Content