LUNA artist Sarah Spurr inspired by lantern craft

'I think mystery is a big part of the ‘wonder’ component of the festival.'

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File photo: Sarah J. Spurr's The Space Between was tucked away in the Chubby Funsters courtyard at the 2018 LUNA Art Fest. The kinetic sculpture featured a moving raven soaring above a wildfire made of paper mache Indian paintbrush flowers. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

This article first appeared in print in the September 2019 issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.

In the midst of all the chaos leading up to last year’s LUNA Art Festival, Sarah Spurr found the inspiration for Night Light.

Revelstoke artist Sarah Spurr. Photo: contributed

“Night Light was an idea that came to me last year while busy in “Lunatic mode” (something the artists and organizers affectionately call the chaos leading up to the big night,” said Spurr. “I was completing my raven mobile for The Space Between and already thinking ahead to next year. Because my piece was a mobile I was really into observing all things hanging and at that time Ai Wei Wei was on my social media leaking incredible photos from the installation of his Los Angeles exhibition Life Cycle — a sculptural response to the world’s refugee crisis.”

Spurr said Wei Wei’s installations have been eye opening for her, particularly the way he works with other specialized makers to exhibit craftsmanship while simultaneously showcasing human rights issues.

“His work comes with a message relevant to his unique point of view and it has nudged me to try different crafts like carpentry and lantern making. You really appreciate these masters when you are just starting out and learning,” she said.

Part of Sarah Spurr’s past exhibit at the LUNA festival.

This is Spurr’s third year participating in LUNA, and while she doesn’t consider herself a professional artist, she says she has expressed herself through art making her entire life. Spurr describes Night Light as a personal exploration into traditional festival and folk art craft. Although she doesn’t want to give away too many details, saying “I think mystery is a big part of the ‘wonder’ component of the festival.” Spurr did mention Night Light includes a “mystical beast” inspired by a real Revelstoke wildlife icon.

“To me LUNA Festival is a platform for idea generation and experimentation,” said Spurr.

“The entire process is designed to channel fantasies into reality.”

Spurr’s Luna offering will once again illuminate the dark spaces around Chubby Funsters. Artists are able to include location as part of their concept during the application process. While there are numerous areas begging for a bit of art, Spurr says the area around Chubby Funsters has always ended up being just right for the pieces she creates.
“I’m drawn to the sheltered aspect of having old brick walls, out of the way from street lights. The audience navigates the downtown like a scavenger hunt to find each piece and every installation will have its own location needs in order to shine,” said Spurr.

Spurr will also be doing a follow up talk at Chubby Funsters on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. LUNA Studio is a new program for 2019 which includes an opportunity for the public to meet the artists and learn about their construction process.