Hundreds of walkers in the Isle of Skye have been gathering for the official opening of a startling new nocturnal art project. The three-kilometre route to the remote nature reserve surrounding the Old Man of Storr is being lit up to create a strenuous mixture of music, climbing and environmental art. More than 10,000 people are expected to turn out over the coming weeks to make the climb into glowing cloud formations. The project has been created by the environmental artist Angus Farquhar and has cost more than a million pounds to set up. More than 50 guides and technicians are involved in helping people up the dark and treacherous path.
Long climb It begins in a forest echoing with the sound of bronze age horns. That is then followed by a long climb, in the dark, to a cold, damp corrie high in the hills. By midnight the walkers are on the top of a rocky outcrop listening to German poetry and staring at misty glowing stones.
Midnight on a meandering back-road in the Isle of Skye. AC/DC's Highway to Hell is blaring from the car stereo. "In other conditions," Angus Farquhar shouts from the driver's seat, "that's where you'd see the start of the Trotternish ridge." I look where he's pointing but the only thing visible is swirling mist.
Farquhar is here preparing The Storr, his latest "environmental artwork" with his Glasgow-based company NVA. Taking place for seven weeks from the start of August, it will be an illuminated midnight hike for 200 people on one of Europe's wildest sites of special scientific interest.
Perhaps you'd call it an art installation because of the illuminated rocky outcrops, the soundscapes, the recorded poetry of Sorley MacLean and the galaxy of LED stars that will stretch across 78 sq km (30 sq miles), creating the UK's largest ever light sculpture. But what kind of art installation requires waterproofs, climbing sticks and the stamina to do a two-mile (3.5km) hike and a rapid 1,500ft (457 metre) ascent at a time when most people are in bed?from the guardian
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The Storr runs from 1 August until 17 September. To book tickets, call 01478 613750. For further information, visit www.nva.org.uk