Nuit Noire at Cube Gallery, Ottawa - July 3 - 29
What it’s all about
A relatively young event, this year’s Nuit Noire is only the second to date, but Cube Gallery is already looking to make it an annual festival.
More than a conventional art exhibition, Nuit Noire seeks to create a dialogue between artists and scientists, as well as between these specialists and local residents.
Drawing in visitors from all disciplines and interests (artists, photographers, astronomers, musicians, collectors and more), the event is a platform for otherwise disconnected communities to exchange thoughts and ideas about their interpretations of the night, about the beauty and awe it inspires.
In this way, Nuit Noire appreciates the very natural – and often overlooked — intersections of art and science. What better way to humble both schools than to contemplate the universal wonder of the night sky – both a source of endless aesthetic inspiration, and the object of unrelenting scientific investigation?
But the success of the theme speaks to the increasing rarity of the view itself, especially as growing light pollution threatens the darkness.
Indeed, tomorrow night, an entire residential street will be turning out its lights (the first private street in Canada to do so) in a collective move to save energy and improve the view. Nuit Noire then also inspires a sense of responsibility: to preserve our view of the starscapes we’ve come to love.
- Erin Saunders
What the opening was like (and why you should visit)
This past Thursday, Cube Gallery held the Nuit Noire vernissage and opening party. Artists, art-enthusiasts, Cube regulars, science nerds, and the Hintonburg elite (note: the types I list are not mutually exclusive – especially not at Nuit Noire) gathered together to talk stars, eat Smartfood, and enjoy the festival’s eclectic array of artwork. The crowd was notably diverse and extremely welcoming. I am generally not one to chat up strangers at art functions (although I find the notion totally romantic) – but I found myself sharing several pleasant and stimulating conversations with people I’d never met before. I truly feel that the theme of the event as well as the atmosphere that the gallery has created breed a friendly openness amongst everyone.
Around 8, everyone gathered at the front of the gallery to hear Ottawa-based actor, John Koensgen, recite verse about the night sky alongside Scott Stuart’s violin accompaniment. It felt good to collectively reflect upon the rich history of humankind’s night-sky-musings, and it felt extremely classy to stand around an art gallery, listening to live violin and poetry.
Overall, I had an excellent time, and look forward to Nuit Noire’s Free Dark Sky Party and Lecture, tomorrow night (7pm – midnight).
- Melissa Daly-Buajitti