Ambitious outdoor arts festival Roofless
Artists Olivier Grossetete and Sumit Sarkar to create public art projects over the next year
They say if you’re going to think, think big, and that’s exactly what Roofless, Scotland’s all-new outdoor arts festival is doing, with impressive scale and great purpose. Plotted initially in five locations, and bringing together professional artists with local talent, Roofless will spread its creative tentacles across Scotland, and ultimately to Europe over the next year. Highlights include French artist Olivier Grossetete working alongside hundreds of Ayrshire schoolchildren to create a gallus tower of cardboard building blocks; elsewhere, in Shetland this August as part of the project Engine Tuning, artist Sumit Sarkar will create a giant ‘condor’ constructed from a Land Rover. The Transformers-inspired robotic musical bird will receive and record music from the communities it visits, the recordings of which will be turned into a musical performance by local sound artists, culminating in a celebration of music, performance, and film in Lerwick.
UZ Events director, Neil Butler, says the challenges and possibilities of the great outdoors have helped create an ‘exceptional programme’. ‘It’s just incredibly exciting to be working outside the restrictions of galleries, concerts halls, theatres,’ Butler told The List. ‘The artists we’re working with are really on top of their game. And we want the community to be an intricate part of what’s being created – here the audience are fundamentally important and critical to making it work. They will own it. That’s what makes this so unique.’