the longest night wrap up

Saturday night turned out to be the longest night for quite unexpected reasons, but the solstice space itself was really lovely…

[We projected onto the ground, at the entry, images of the solar system in real time, with the earth at the centre, showing the darkness moving over australia – this photo was taken on my mobile, hence the lack of quality]

We turned the space into an art gallery of sorts, lining the walls with large prints of images of darkness, which were footnoted [an idea inspired by Roni Horn’s work]. These are a couple of them:

We had two video spaces – we projected the same loop of dawn over Docklands through black fabric, with the words i posted here the other day [split in the obvious place]… and we turned one wall into a story wall, putting up postcard sized copies of the different images which were hung around the basement wall, inviting people to take one and in its place to write the story of their longest night. Those stories are really beautiful. And in the centre of the basement we laid out tables with food and wine which became the gathering point. Mike and Claire printed out wine labels – black wax print on black labels, with the words

in our darkness
there is [no] darkness

with you

oh god

That was it, really. We had originally intended to keep the space really dark, giving people torches at the entry to see their way around the pictures, and then having downlights over the table – but the space absorbed much more light than we were aware. As someone said on the night, your eyes never adjust to the darkness in there, which was kind of nice… but it did mean that we had to do a last minute dash to the shops to buy more sources of subdued lighting. We also used blacklights in a few places, which was quite nice too.

We learnt a lot: $2 torches are $2 for a reason. We could see their light dimming from the moment we put new batteries in… We got better at signage out the front, so more people walked in off the street. Some stayed for a minute, some stayed much longer – we still need to find better language to explain what we’re doing. Most importantly, we learnt that the settings in the alarm and access system for the building aren’t as infallible as one would hope… but rather than remember the last horrendous two hours of cleanup, it would be nice to remember the rest of the night instead, which was, I think, quite beautiful…

As always, it was such a lovely thing to work with this group of people. I always feel so lucky…


  1. don’t know if you’ll laugh, too, but I couldn’t figure out why you were doing all of these longest night things, since it was 100 degrees yesterday, and was the longest day, My provincial self was sitting in the other hemisphere in Texas. blessings on the wonderful worship you share.

  2. ben

    I spent the solstice running around in the rain and am now suffering the consequences… this looked like a much warmer place to be!!

    The footnoted images are really nice!!

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