The Great Light and Dark Show (June 2019) – presented by Julie Myers in association with Totland Parish council in the Parish Hall is a public event and film that shows us how local history, science, changing environment, and art resonate in Totland today.
Participating groups include: Freshwater and Totland Archive Society, Dark Wight Skies, Totland Parish Council, Island Planetarium, The Hooke Society, AONB, St Saviour’s RC Primary School and Dimbola Museum and Galleries.
By the mid 1870s, Totland had developed from a small coastal fishing village into a thriving Victorian tourist destination. Holiday makers came in paddle steamers to take the air and enjoy its sandy beaches and coastal walks. Science was popular: geology and nature (botany), sea-life, fern collecting, and the local evidence of Jurassic dinosaurs. During this same period there was a widespread public enthusiasm for science lectures. Entertaining speakers, such as Michael Faraday and John Tyndall, could be seen at the Royal Institute, London and in lecture halls and theatres around Britain.
The idea of the science lecture was a source of inspiration in the development of the Great Light and Dark Show. Light and dark has been a long-standing theme of Totland: from the first Needles light placed on the furthest chalk stack in 1855 to the battery search lights that scanned the air during the World War II to the digital monitors positioned along the coast to measure dark sky status. At night you can look up and see the solar system, its planets and stars displayed in splendour above you.
Julie Myers (Lead Artist) Alice Armfield (Assistant), Hannah Ray (Workshop Artist), Alan Benns (Video Camera at event), Sarah Girling (Quay Arts), Estelle Baker (Heritage Educator Officer, Isle of Wight Heritage Service), Claire Speight (Designer), Kae Carlstedt-Duke (The Lazy Dog Press), Kath Page (Isle of Wight Music Hub), Steph Foster (Class Teacher, St Saviour’s RC Primary School), Gina Owrid (Head Teacher, St Saviours RC Primary School).