The Lines Series

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A thought-provoking installation that explores the potential impact of rising sea levels.

Located on the west coast of Scotland, in the Outer Hebrides, the Lines (57° 59′ N, 7° 16’W) series aims to open a discussion on climate change and how it will change coastlines around the world. Created in a collaboration between Finnish artists Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho for the Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, the striking light installation explores the impact of rising sea levels on seaside communities. The installation uses a simple but highly effective way to demonstrate this concept: LED lights and sensors. As they activate with the high tide, the LEDs literally shine a light on the potential effects of climate change. Installed on buildings and projected onto the landscape, the lights mark the water level during future storm surges.

Based on current studies, the installation shows how climate change – if it continues on its current path – would affect coastlines. It also shows how the rising sea levels would displace the people living in these areas. While its effect refers to worldwide changes, the installation also has a strong link to its setting. Lochmaddy, on the archipelago of Uist in the Outer Hebrides is the home of Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre. Through Lines, the artists show how the storm surge sea levels will potentially lead to the relocation of not only the cultural space, but also of the local community, changing this coastline forever. Photographs© Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho.

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