Lanterns to light up Fife beauty spot this winter

Dozens of lanterns will light up the night at Silverburn Park this winter as part of a new community art project.

Edinburgh Artist Hannah Ayre will lead schools, community groups and families on a ‘Lantern Journey’ to create a stunning illuminate art installation in the park as part of Blue Monday, supposedly the gloomiest day of the year.

Hannah is a participatory artist who creates community-based projects and events from small-scale crafts to large-scale outdoor sculpture and installations with people of all ages.

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She currently creates work nationally and internationally for the V&A Dundee, Historic Environment Scotland and Curated Place in Edinburgh.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be delivering the winter lantern project for Silverburn Park and the local community,” Hannah said.

“I’ve been enjoying getting to know the park – it’s such a beautiful and special place. During the pandemic, the park has seen a huge increase in visitors, as people experience the benefits that nature has on us all. The project will be an opportunity for people to be creative and reflective, in making a collaborative artwork. We hope to bring some joy and light to the winter months during this challenging time.”

The lanterns aim to bring to life the story of flax growing in the area and to allow flax and linen making to be woven into the social history of Levenmouth. Lantern makers will be encouraged to use willow and paper which will reflect the Russell family’s – the park’s previous owners – paper making business.

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Hannah and a team will create a pack containing the materials and an inspirational video to allow schools, community groups and local people to undertake their own workshops and to create individual lanterns that reflect their relationship with the park and its rich heritage.

Once the lanterns have been made, and if Covid restrictions allow, there will be an event in the park over Blue Monday Weekend, January 14-16, where the lanterns will be installed for all visitors to enjoy as a beacon of light and hope during the darkest part of the year.

Visits can be spread over the three days so as to allow social distancing and stewards will be in place to ensure safety is paramount. If it cannot happen in this way at all, people may be able to display their lanterns from their homes, schools or community centre windows.

Blue Monday is usually the third Monday in January and is meant to be the most depressing day of the year due to the darkness, people’s post-Christmas debt and the date at which most people have given up on their new year resolutions. It is felt that the idea of using the date to cheer people up will have more meaning than ever due to the isolation caused by Covid-19 restrictions.

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It is hoped that the event will herald a new era for the park which is managed by mental health charity Fife Employment Action Trust (FEAT) which aims to bring the derelict flax mill in the park back to life as a visitor centre, education facility and as a community hub for FEAT clients and the Levenmouth community.

Lantern Journey is the park’s flagship event in a range of activities aimed at raising the final £250,000 needed to renovate the park’s flax mill.

The planned opening date for the mill is Easter 2025 when it is hoped that the Levenmouth rail link will also be operational.

To support Silverburn Park’s crowdfunder, visit or text FLAX05 to 70085 to donate £5.

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