Sarah Spurr is one of the many artists participating in Luna this year. (Submitted)

Creating an ode to the moon for Revelstoke’s Luna Nocturnal Art & Wonder

Sarah Spurr is inspired by the lanterns that are often used in lunar festivals around the world

Luna Sound, Luna Nocturnal Art & Wonder and Luna Studio are coming to Revelstoke Sept. 27, 28 and 29.

Developed by a small group of creatives and executed with the help of hundreds of volunteers, Luna redefines a city known for outdoor adventure into a cultural destination.

READ MORE: Friday night of music a new addition to Revelstoke’s Luna Nocturnal Art & Wonder

Luna is a weekend-long celebration of art and energy that takes place in downtown Revelstoke each fall and features several artists that transform the downtown core into a magical landscape of lights and incredulity.

Sarah Spurr is one of the artists participating this year.

Why did you want to be a part of Luna?

This will be my third year participating. I originally wanted to be apart of Luna because I had experienced other open air night festivals like Nuit Blanche in Toronto and The Still Parade in Rama, Ontario. I was welcomed in by the open call and appreciated that there was funding for each artist to buy materials. It seemed like the perfect place to incubate some ideas that wouldn’t typically see the light of day.

Also, great location!

A teaser photo for Sarah Spurr’s Luna creation. (Submitted)

What are you creating?

This year I will be making a piece titled Night Light. It’s my very first attempt at lantern making and a deep dive for me into the subject of lanterns.

I’m creating something experimental. Luna, I’ve learned, is so much more than one perfect night for the artists to share. It’s the messy season leading up to the festival where we hash out ideas, scratch our heads and often work with new materials.

READ MORE: Revelstoke’s C3 Church turning a gallery upside down for art festival

What is the inspiration behind the piece/performance?

“Luna, Festival of Nocturnal Art and Wonder” is where the inspiration starts and ultimately what will keep me on track. Your imagination can run pretty wild with a theme like that and so it’s a good group of words to keep coming back to.

I had this idea of an illustration stepping out of the page into real life and so the form of Night Light is actually based off something that I drew with ink on rice paper about seven years ago. This picture came to mind and I knew I wanted to revisit it. Recent travels have had me looking closer at traditional hand crafts like paper lanterns and I think it’s cool how such a simple craft can be so timeless.

Lanterns are popular totems at festivals celebrating lunar events and so it just made sense that the old rice paper drawing would get this new second life as a rice paper lantern.

How are you creating/making it?

I am making a frame using wicker reed (a climbing palm vine). It’s a little intimidating to work with at first but I’m learning that it is actually very similar to working out a drawing. You can think about the reed as pencil lines that you build upon and edit down until you arrive at the shape you are going for. I will be creating the shell using glazed Washi (rice/ mulberry paper)… fingers crossed it doesn’t monsoon.

I’ve learned the basics from collecting Youtube videos and putting them into a playlist that I can reference. It’s pretty amazing how many people take the time to produce videos demonstrating various crafts from all around the world. I’ve been emailing back and forth with light artists like Stephen White and I’ve found that people who love to make are often so generous with information and happy to share what they have learned. Social technology has been a big asset for me here, especially since we live somewhere fairly remote.

READ MORE: LUNA Nocturnal Art & Wonder takes over downtown Revelstoke

How did you start creating art?

Art was always a family value and I’ve been playing art since I was a kid. I’ve started to notice more and more that the things that influence my style today are often tied into nostalgic feelings, early memories and different cultural experiences or visuals I was exposed to as a young person. Making art is just a great way to spend time and tap into the cool things that life has shown you.

How has your art changed/developed since you started?

My art could definitely benefit from being more focused. I get inspired by so many things that it can be hard for me to dedicate myself to just one thing.

Illustration has stuck with me the longest. I used to take classes like Chinese brush painting and would draw to make gifts or just to fight off tweenage boredom. I began finding it was a nice way to quiet my mind and then a certain style started showing as I kept at it and both these discoveries felt so precious. This style is kind of stripped down lines but I’m now working on how I can improve by adding in more texture and colour. In recent years I’ve learned that I really love making more dimensional things. Making something 3D like a necklace that can be worn or an installation that takes up space is so satisfying and a nice escape for my hands from pen and paper.

READ MORE: LUNA: Thinking outside the ‘regular gallery’

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

I’m an aspiring artist myself. I can’t say I’m a professional but I’ve been watching and learning from my peers and can see that a professional work ethic sure could take things to the next level. Be personally expressive in whatever medium you are dabbling in but also get a bit brave if you want to surprise yourself. Don’t be afraid to begin projects that you’ve fantasized about. If you feel inspired by installation art, Luna is the perfect place to start.

Come up with a concept, work out the details and fill out the application. Hit “send” before the deadline.

Turn one good idea a beautiful reality and you’ll want to do it again, but even better.

To read more about Luna go here.



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