Mirrie Dancers light installation at glasshouses hit by technical problems

It is hoped the glasshouses illuminations can be restored soon. Click on image to enlarge.
It is hoped the glasshouses illuminations can be restored soon. Click on image to enlarge.

Technical difficulties have temporarily halted the Mirrie Dancers public art installation at the Tingwall Glass Houses over the Christmas period.

Project co-ordinator Kathy Hubbard, Shetland Arts’ development manager, said that this, the fifth out of 10 planned illuminations over the winter, had been a bit jinxed: “First of all we had the very unusual situation of having no wind for nearly six days – not something you expect in Shetland in the middle of December. The illuminations are powered by wind turbines, so the batteries had to be topped up with generators.

“Just before Christmas a member of our installation team noticed that one of the batteries did not appear to be replenishing itself, even when there was wind. He discovered that one of the control boxes had virtually burnt out so he shut down the installation as a health and safety precaution.”

The engineer who designed the equipment is currently working on finding out what happened and devising a way of putting it right.

Mrs Hubbard said that Shetland Arts wished to apologise to anyone who had made a special trip over the holidays to see the lights and had been disappointed.

“By the time we were compelled to turn the lights off it was too late to get a notice in to The Shetland Times, or to alter our advert. BBC Radio Shetland did manage to get a notice in on their last programme before closing for Christmas, but I am aware that people will have been expecting to see the lights and will be wondering what has happened.”

Artist Nayan Kulkarni is flying up to Shetland and will do his best to get the lights working again. He may not immediately be able to fix the damaged piece of equipment but will work with the second turbine to see if at least part of the illumination can be resumed.

The Glass Houses illuminations are due to run until 11th January, after which Mirrie Dancers moves to the top of Ander Hill, Bressay, and to the Reawick Congregational Church. In February the illuminations are planned for the Böd of Nesbister and the Garthsness Listening Station, before both turbines and sets of lights move finally to Snarravoe in Unst.

Mrs Hubbard said that the project was always going to be a challenging one, but that the team would do all it could to “get the show on the road again”.


Add Your Comment
  • Nayan Kulkarni

    • December 30th, 2009 15:31

    I am pleased to say that we have rectified the electrical fault with one of the wind turbines, recharged the batteries. The illuminations were back on 29th December and (wind permitting) should now remain on until the next illuminations at Reawick and Bressay.


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.