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Article published 01/03/2022

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of creativity taking place across the UK in 2022, launches today, 1 March, with About Us, a spectacular, free open-air event in Paisley. Created by 59 Productions, The Poetry Society and Stemettes, About Us explores 13.8 billion years of history through the infinite ways in which humans are connected to the cosmos, nature, and one another.

Read more about UNBOXED at their dedicated website.

What is About Us?

Opening at Paisley Abbey, About Us combines multimedia installations and live performance to immerse audiences in the history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the present day. At dusk, local landmarks are transformed into vast canvases combining awe-inspiring live projection-mapped animation with poetry, music, and live choirs, including a new score by Nitin Sawhney CBE and poetry by Llŷr Gwyn Lewis, Jen Hadfield, Jason Allen-Paisant, Khairani Barokka, Grug Muse and Stephen Sexton. By day, LED video installations will showcase the creativity of children and young people from schools across the country through poems and Scratch animations. Audiences will congregate in the open air at Paisley Abbey with the 25-minute show presented through the evening from 7pm to 9.15pm from Tuesday 1 to Sunday 6 March.

About Us is the first of 10 major multi-site and digital creative projects commissioned as part of UNBOXED, an entirely free UK-wide programme, with events and activities stretching from the Outer Hebrides to Southampton, from Omagh to Swansea, and across traditional and online media until October. Each of the UNBOXED projects share new ideas and possibilities for the future and are the result of collaboration across science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths. Arts organisations and designers, scientists and international research projects, tech companies and universities are amongst contributors forming new partnerships to develop and realise each project. UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK is funded and supported by the four governments of the UK and is commissioned and delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council, Creative Wales and EventScotland.

Find out more the project at the About Us website.

Paisley Abbey illuminated with projection of flowers and plantlife

UNBOXED upcoming projects

About Us opens the UNBOXED programme across the UK and is also the first of six events to be presented in Scotland in partnership with EventScotland including, Dandelion, Scotland’s contribution to the UNBOXED programme, which has been commissioned by EventScotland.

Dandelion is the next project to open in Scotland, with 12 Unexpected Gardens created at sites across the country going live from the end of April. The project is inviting people all over the country to 'sow, grow and share’ – growing-their-own and sharing food, music, and ideas with their communities, in a six-month long programme that follows the arc of the growing season from April to September this year.

Read more about Dandelion on the dedicated website.

Other projects visiting Scotland as part of UNBOXED include Dreamachine (Edinburgh, August), Green Space Dark Skies (across Scotland, August to September), PoliNations (Edinburgh, 6-14 August) and StoryTrails (Dundee and Dumfries, Summer).

UNBOXED Projects

About Us is the first of UNBOXED’s ten awe-inspiring major projects given life through creative collaboration across all sectors. As a result, they have created truly extraordinary audience experiences that will demonstrate the power of creativity and how important it will be to the way we work, live, learn and play in the future.

About Us dramatically touches on themes seen across all the UNBOXED projects, from mankind’s relationship with nature, responsibility for the environment and future possibilities for planet Earth to how people understand and interact with each other as individuals and communities. Everyone involved in making UNBOXED happen has been compelled to think about what is most important to all our futures and manifest this in projects designed to be fun and exciting, that will bring people together across the UK this year and provide inspiration for many years to come.

Martin Green CBE, Chief Creative Officer of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK

Scotland is a destination for world class cultural events and it is great that the Unboxed celebration of creativity is launching its programme at Paisley Abbey with the multi-media spectacular, About Us.

The Scottish commission, Dandelion, will begin in April with a series of activities rolled out across the country as community groups come together to showcase the best of Scottish music and innovation.

Neil Gray, Culture Minister (Scotland)
Paisley Abbey illuminated for About Us event
Paisley Abbey illuminated for About Us event

Image credit 59 Productions / Justin Sutcliffe

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