The Rosnes Benches, a groundbreaking ecological art project by Dundee-based Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion, allow people to tune into the natural world. They aim to combat Nature Deficit Disorder – the idea that modern lifestyles harm health and wellbeing because people lose their connection to nature.
They are clustered in small groups in 12 locations around Dumfries and Galloway’s Dark Skies Park and UNESCO Biosphere. The sites have been specially chosen to trigger people’s sense – perhaps through the sound of nearby water, views of huge day and nighttime skyscapes, or the noise of the wind through the trees and grasses.
On a clear night, people lying on the sensory benches will be able to see up to 7,000 stars and planets and the great arc of the Milky Way.
Matthew said: “The Rosnes Benches have a profound effect on people when they try them. That’s because when you lie down, you slow down and engage your senses in a different way. You become aware of things like the breeze, the sky, the scents from plants and the sounds around you.”
Louise and Matthew worked with a team of artists to deliver the project including Kenny Hunter and Kenny Mackay from Glasgow and locally-based land artist Jim Buchanan.
The project has been produced by Wide Open. It is supported by Creative Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Dumfries and Galloway Council, the Galloway Leader Programme and Forestry Commission Scotland.