Opens at The Sill, Saturday 16 March

A new exhibition from UK and international artists inspired by dark skies where they live in the world, opens to the public on Saturday 16 March at The Sill: Landscape Discovery Centre.

The Magic of Dark Skies’ features the work of six national and international artists, who were invited to respond to dark skies from the countries they live in, using a limited set of specially created soft pastels by local handmade pastel company, Unison Colour.

The artists were based in locations around the world, including Maine and Norway as well as Devon and Northumberland.

The bespoke Dark Skies pastel set was specially commissioned to mark the tenth anniversary in December of Northumberland Dark Sky Park, the only gold tier dark sky park in Europe.

Staff from Unison Colour and Northumberland National Park collectively created the bespoke set of 18 soft pastels. The palette colours range from cornflower blue to coral pink, and acid green to high contrasting deep navy and purple, quintessentially the essence of the night sky distilled in one set of 18 colours. The resulting artworks reflect the artists’ inner selves, as well as the respective dark skies where they live. Much like dark skies, the works are distinct and varied, but are united in their appreciation and respect for the night sky, wherever they are in the world.

The six artists whose work is being displayed in ‘The Magic of Dark Skies’ are Matilda Bevan, Stephen Fuller, William Morrison Bell, Lyn Asselta, Kristin Holm Dybvig, and Amy Shuckburgh.

Victoria Byrom, Creative Projects Manager, Unison Colour, said: “It has been an incredible journey working with such amazing artists and fantastic people at The National Park. It’s so lovely to see our wonderful pastels used to produce varied and beautiful paintings.”

Sarah Burn, Head of Engagement, Northumberland National Park, said: “We are delighted to welcome this new dark skies-inspired exhibition to The Sill. It’s incredible to see the varied responses to the beauty of dark skies from these artists from around the world.”

This is the second exhibition hosted at The Sill that celebrates dark skies. Noctalgia: Dark Skies Matter, ran from December and was specially commissioned by Northumberland National Park to also celebrate the tenth anniversary of Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. That exhibition is now on tour and will travel around the county throughout March and April.

There are also a series of practical dark sky inspired events and activities taking place at The Sill. A soft pastels nightscape workshop  where you can learn pastel techniques and then create your own artwork to take home. Separately, Unison Colour is leading a workshop where you will learn how to make your own soft pastels. Both workshops are available to book via What’s On guide.

The exhibition runs from 16 March until 12 May. A selection of student artworks inspired by dark skies will also be on view. Students used the mini set of pastels, specially selected colours containing eight pastels.

Both Dark Skies pastel sets are available to buy in The Sill shop.