Peace Camp Lights Up the Northern Irish Coastline

The voices of artists, writers and the public can be heard in Deborah Warner's London 2012 coastal art installation

From July 19-22 a series of glowing encampments and murmuring literary soundscapes will decorate some of the most breathtaking scenery in the UK, including two Northern Irish sites. From dusk until dawn, visitors will be able to wander freely through the softly-illuminated tents and hear the extraordinary soundscape at Downhill Beach and White Park Bay. 

Peace Camp preview trailer from Artichoke Trust on Vimeo.

Peace Camp is director Deborah Warner’s co-commission for the London 2012 Festival and City of Culture 2013. It has been created in collaboration with Irish actor Fiona Shaw and Irish musician and composer Mel Mercier. 

Warner was inspired to create Peace Camp by the United Nations Olympic Truce, which calls on countries worldwide to lay down their arms for the duration of the Olympic Games. As dusk begins to fall, the tent-shaped artworks will flicker to life in a symbolic call to peace.

The accompanying soundscape was created by Shaw and Mercier. The actor and musician recorded actors, poets and writers, and the general public and then wove all their voices into a symphony of sound. Love poetry, words, signals and noises all play in counterpoint to the ambient sounds of the natural environment. Listen long enough and it will include poems from across the centuries and in all our languages including Irish Gaelic. Edna O’Brien, Seamus Heaney and Cillian Murphy all contributed their voices to the project.

Peace Camp is intended to be a quiet and contemplative experience, and numbers of visitors attending at any one time will be monitored to enable all to enjoy the work comfortably. Booking in advance is strongly recommended for both Downhill Beach and White Park Bay, and free visiting slots for these sites can be booked online at www.peacecamp2012.com. There is no booking for Mussenden Temple, and visitors will be admitted in small groups to hear the soundscape inside this architectural folly.

For those who can’t wait until the launch of Peace Camp, visit the website at www.peacecamp2012.com for sneak preview of the magical experience in store at White Park Bay and Mussenden Temple/Downhill Beach this month. Here you can listen to some of the recordings, see preview images, view the trailer film, and even contribute or record your own favourite love poem. The website will be archived by The British Library at the end of the project as a snapshot of our lives in this Olympic and Paralympic year. 

Peace Camp runs from dusk till dawn on July 19-22