Digital Arts & Creative Technology

Our Future is Ancient for 2020 Vision – Barnaby Festival

Our Future is Ancient ~ a series of projections & storytelling on Saturday 20th June live streaming at Barnaby Festival

Macclesfield’s Barnaby Festival are presenting a digital programme over the weekend of 20th – 21st June to celebrate its tenth anniversary.

Barnaby Festival was due to return to venues and spaces across Macclesfield town centre this June. However due to the Covid 19 pandemic, Barnaby Festival is not able to deliver its programme as normal.

Artist Simon Buckley who produces the Not Quite Light project and is based in Salford will be presenting his digital commission on Saturday June 20.

For Barnaby Festival, Simon is exploring his connection to Macclesfield Forest with a new piece of work Our Future is Ancient.

Simon Buckley photo of Macclesfield Forest at dawn  Our Future is Ancient Barnaby Festival 2020 tress in Macclesfeild Forest

Image credit Simon Buckley/Not Quite Light ©


Simon has been visiting Macclesfield Forest every month to coincide with the dawn of the full moon, since December’s winter solstice.

He has been documenting his visits with photography and has been keeping a diary to inform the stories that he is going to be presenting

Simon said: “It’s been quite a journey. It began with me, taking my urban self into the forest in the depths of winter when it was very dark. We all grew up with the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel so, despite it being a place of sanctuary, I actually felt safer on the streets of Salford.

“However, in the past months, I’ve grown to love being here in the twilight, even feeling disappointment when the light arrives. The call of owls and other creatures is quite magical.

“Lockdown changed our world and during the weeks of confinement, I began to crave the forest, desperate to savour its mysteries and the comfort of the natural world. The virus has caused me to feel very differently about my own life, and creating work around such an ancient place feels very relevant at the moment.”

Simon will be presenting Our Future is Ancient through a series of projections and storytelling on Saturday June 20 via a live stream/digital presentation.

Abi Gilmore, co-chair of Barnaby Festival, said: “We’re so excited about this project. It has become even more relevant since the Covid 19 pandemic. It is such an interesting interpretation of the theme of Vision and Simon has really immersed himself in the forest. Something very beautiful will be created from a very difficult situation.”

To see the work please follow Barnaby Festival and Not Quite Light on social media platforms Instagram and Twitter  @notquitelight and @barnabyfestival

Barnaby Festival will host the work on its website after 20th June 2020.

trees in half light of dawn

Image credits © Simon Buckley/Not Quite Light



About Barnaby

Barnaby Festival has a reputation for blending high quality arts commissions with community events and activities to inspire participation in heritage, contemporary art, science, innovation and debate.

The festival works within the town to deliver new experiences with local creatives, venues and community groups, bringing in (and back) artists, curators and producers with national and international profiles, including emerging and established artists such as Hilary Jack, Owl Project, Liz West, Bedwyr Williams, Emily Speed, David Shrigley, Tim Burgess, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris (patron), Lowri Evans, Jan Blake, Brass Art & Rachel Goodyear. The quality of work is recognized as far exceeding expectations of a small town, as demonstrated by London Contemporary Art and LUMEN nominations for Matt Rosier, Zara Hussain and Sam Meech.

The festival depends on voluntary, collective effort and strong partnerships. We’ve worked with Jodrell Bank, National Trust, SHIFT and many others to commission and deliver live events and exhibitions.

You can find out more here

About Not Quite Light

He is known for taking photographic images in the half-light of dawn and dusk. Simon who is based in Salford became well known for his image of Deansgate in a rainstorm, which went viral on twitter and featured in The Guardian newspaper.

Media Contact: Margaret Bennett

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