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Electric Glen brings light to a dark park

A PARK in a Glasgow suburb is to be transformed into an "electric glen" in a bid to showcase its natural beauty at night.

LIGHT FANTASTIC: Zoe Bottrell and Phil Supple have wide experience of light-based events. Below left, a detail from a light festival organised by the pair in Northumbria. Main picture: Elaine Livingstone
LIGHT FANTASTIC: Zoe Bottrell and Phil Supple have wide experience of light-based events. Below left, a detail from a light festival organised by the pair in Northumbria. Main picture: Elaine Livingstone

An illuminated trail through Rouken Glen Park will be complemented by visual art installations and soundscapes as part of a new lighting festival next month.

Northumberland-based company Culture Creative has been commissioned to create the installation which East Renfrewshire Council hopes will attract visitors from outside the area.

Electric Glen is the brainchild of Culture Creative's Zoe Bottrell and Phil Supple. The aim, they say, is to transform a familiar landscape into something new and mysterious.

"In the dark all of our senses are heightened and even in familiar surroundings we experience our environments in an entirely different way," they say.

"The sounds, smells, the look and feel of all the different textures illuminated throughout the trail will be a complete sensory experience that intrigues all ages and piques all kinds of interests."

The pair have worked on some of the most significant Scottish light shows of recent years.

Supple worked on last year's Speed of Light event in Edinburgh, which saw hundreds of runners filing up Arthur's Seat in illuminated suits, as well as working on the Iconic Burns event in 2009 which was part of the Alloway Homecoming.

Bottrell, meanwhile, was involved in lighting events in Selkirk and along Hadrian's Wall last summer, as well as creating a light display for the launch of the Titanic Museum in Belfast when it opened, and the spectacular Tantallon Castle event in East Lothian last September.

The team is based in Alnwick in Northumbria.

Councillor Tony Buchanan, East Renfrewshire events convener, said he hoped Electric Glen will attract people from Glasgow and further afield to the park.

He said: "Rouken Glen Park is within a 25-minute-drive to a population of over a million. The park is within a 20-minute drive of Glasgow city centre.

"It is just off the M77 and Whitecraigs Station is practically in the park. Once you are inside the Glen, you are completely cut off from the rest of the world and it is beautiful, hence the park's historic and current-day popularity."

The Electric Glen route will take visitors around the boating pond, over the waterfall and down into the glen itself.

But Bottrell and Supple have warned that it might be dark and cold so visitors in February should come prepared.

"As quite a few parts of the trail are very dark, all explorers must bring a torch, wrap up warm, wear waterproof jackets and sensible outdoor shoes. It's a night-time outdoor event and we need to be prepared for all weathers. It's all part of what makes the experience such a unique one," they said.

The event will run from 5.30pm to 8.30pm from February 14 to February 17. Prices are £3 for children, £5 for adults and £14 for a family group, and booking is advised. More details at www.electricglen.co.uk.

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