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Faerie lights brighten Perth city centre

The dark corners of Scottish folklore have inspired a stunning new light installation in Perth city centre.

The "Away with the Faeries" installation on Guard Vennel by award-winning artist Elisa Artesero, takes its inspiration from legends of people disappearing for months or even years because they were dancing or playing music with faeires.

In Gaelic, the word for faerie is Sith, pronounced "shee", features in several familiar place names across Scotland including Glenshee and Schiehallion, which translates faerie hill of Caledonia.

 'Away with the Faeries' invokes an image of Faeries dancing around a fire in the night and casting their shadows out into the darkness.

Guiding visitors through the enclosed part of the vennel are three glowing faerie rings projected onto the floor, announcing the title of the work 'Away with the Faeries'.

Opening out onto the large stretch of brick wall above are four large rings casting the following poem in circles of light and shadow text:

By candlelight

Small enchantments

Dance in circles

To the rhythm of sleep

The light and shadows of the rings grow in intensity as night falls, fully revealing their magic under the cover of darkness.

During the day, the sculptural elements, coloured in thistle blue and purple, hint at the night time magic of the piece, enigmatically announcing "Magic Surrounds This Place".

Elisa said: "I spent some time in Perth and the surrounding areas as part of my research and development for the piece and found myself fascinated by the folklore.

"A lot of my work has a magical quality to it both in its presentation and subject, leaning towards the folkloric and mythical.

"The outer areas of Perth and Kinross I visited are steeped in this, so I though my work could bring a little of that magic back into the city centre."

The installation was commissioned by Perth and Kinross Council as part of its lighting and artwork scheme across the city.

This includes Nathan Coley's work The World Without and the World Within, Sunday Walks with My Children which was installed in nearby Cutlog Vennel last year and Elizabeth Ogilvie's projected work 'Meander' in Burts Close

Council leader Councillor Grant Laing said: "This is a fantastic installation that brings Scotland's mythic past to life in modern-day Perth.

"It's fantastic to see these installations lit up at night - they create a fantastic atmosphere in the city centre and will bring more visitors in after dark, benefiting our cafes, bars and restaurants."

Last modified on 15 May 2023

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