From Wednesday Message from the Skies, introduced in Edinburgh in 2018, will be back, and will run until 25 January.

This edition – Earth Calls – will be housed at Trinity Apse just off the Royal Mile and will display poetry written by three Scottish writers about the climate emergency.

This is the fourth time the medium has been used by Underbelly who produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay for The City of Edinburgh Council in partnership with The Edinburgh International Book Festival and funded by Creative Scotland through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals EXPO Fund.  

The producers promise “vibrant, colourful and exciting projections” of images displayed above viewers’ heads against the soundtrack of the artists’ message to the skies.

The three writers are: Anna Fleming – LAND A Call to Action

Anna is an environmental writer and author, who has drawn inspiration for her words from the Earth and Glasgow’s River Clyde.

“We are nature.

We are of the earth and the earth is of us

The land loves and sustains us”

Andrés N. Ordorica – The Air it calls to Us

Andrés creative writing was shortlisted for the Morley Prize for Unpublished Writers of Colour in 2021, and for Message from the Skies, will write on the Air around us.

“The air is constantly shifting like the winds – is a life force, life taker, life maker.”

Mara Menzies – Ocean Mother

Mara is a Kenyan/Scottish narrative artist, and one of the finest performance storytellers on the global stage and has drawn her inspiration for Ocean Mother from the Sea.

“For eternity I have watched my waves rise and fall with the waning of the moon.”

The Edinburgh-based artists have each been commissioned to write a short piece, which will be narrated and underscored by a soundscape from creative composer and sound designer Calum Paterson. Glasgow-based designer Hazel Dunn is creating this year’s projection artwork with the digital designers at creative studio NOVAK.

Underbelly Co-Directors, Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam said: “There isn’t a more vital time for our Message from the Skies to focus on climate than now. Scotland has been at the forefront of the world’s climate action this year and our artists have been working together to share a message from Scotland that sparks imagination and inspires the world.

“Earth Calls is the fourth edition of Message from the Skies and we’re delighted to share it with the people of Edinburgh and for this element of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2021 celebrations to be able to go ahead.”

Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival said: “Message from the Skies has become an integral part of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations and we have once again enjoyed suggesting some wonderful Scottish writers whose words will light up the city in the dark days of January.”

Jenny Gilruth MSP, Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, said: “It’s great to hear that Scotland’s COP26 legacy will live on through Message from the Skies 2022. For the duration of January, the artist’s messages will be projected in the heart of Scotland’s capital, reflecting on our relationship with Scotland’s land, sea and air. 

“I encourage everyone to go to one of the Scottish Government’s EXPO funded events – they are free to attend and an excellent way to kick start your 2022.”

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Message from the Skies has become an important part of the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations and I’m so glad we’re able to go ahead this year and delighted that we can hold it in the Trinity Apse. 

“As tackling Climate Change continues to be at the forefront of our minds it is a very fitting topic for this year’s project and I look forward to seeing these fantastic works brought to life.”

Message from the Skies is a free, non-ticketed event running from 19 – 25 January 2022. The work will be presented nightly from 5pm till 9pm.