Ceangal on the Canal

On Saturday 23rd August, the Caledonian Canal held an open day in Inverness.  One of the Ceangal 2013 artists, Nicola Gear lives on a barge there, from which she also hosts residencies and various events, and she invited me to bring along some residency information, which I gladly did!  The sun shone and many people passed through the doors, pretty much non-stop for the whole day which was great.  We also had a surprise visitor in the shape of Rudi Domidian Hundefaenger, a german artist who I met in India who also has connections with many residencies and artists around the globe.  We talked, ate cake and ice cream and I even ended up in a skiff rowing race – all in all it was a grand day out.  More connections made!


Eung-Woo Ri – a summer nomadic visit to the Highlands

As part of strong ongoing connections between Ceangal & the YATOO organisation in Korea,  and in particular the Global Nomadic Art Project (GNAP),  artist, YATOO chairman and director of GNAP Asia, Eung-Woo Ri visited the Highlands for a two week residency this June following participation in the Oranki residency in Finland.  We aim to bring GNAP to Scotland as part of the Europe leg of the journey in 2017.  More details can be found on the http://www.yatooi.com website.

Ri spent two weeks exploring,working, meeting some of the community and those involved with Ceangal and giving a presentation about the project and the ongoing work of YATOO which was established in 1981 and is an integral part of the arts in S Korea, running residencies, biennales, exhibitions, workshops and has wide and established connections with artists and residencies worldwide.

The weather was kind, the midges mainly stayed away and it was a pleasure to be out working in the area.  The works were created using materials found around the area – some will remain until nature takes them back.

We held a two day Nature Art workshop at Beinn Eighe NNR where there is a small display associated with Ceangal and YATOO which will stay in situ for some time.  Ri will continue travelling, researching and working throughout the summer visiting Hungary, Germany and Lithuania before returning to Korea to develop the GNAP project which will take part in Asia in 2015, covering India and China.  It will then move to Iran & S Africa in 2016, Europe in 2017 and finally America in 2018, although I think this will be something which will continue onwards after those dates as Nature, Art, Dreams and Inspiration are not things with a final date.

Eung-Woo Ri – some working photos and works

Lynn Bennett-Mackenzie – works

Vicky Stonebridge- Final work 2013

Vicky Stonebridge


In the first days of Ceangal 2013 we went for excursions around the area, we talked to the visiting artists about history, politics, culture, heritage, environment, people and landscape. In Gairloch there was a ceilidh, the whirling figures became ghostlike blurs in photographs, a metaphor for our own fleeting lives in this place, and also of the peoples, communities and cultures which came before us. I started making dancing figures in various locations around the reserve, using unfired wet clay, which would quickly disintegrate and fade back into the earth as people do, like the blurred dancers who fade away home at the end of the ceilidh. As I worked the figures started telling their own stories instead of just dancing. Our lives now are all full of global information, we all are so busy, living in our own heads, which are full of lists, chores and clutter. It is easy to dash through the stunning glens and forests without stopping to look, to listen, to absorb, to communicate or connect. By placing figures in this landscape I am forcing myself to stop and take a moment, to explore more, to clear my own head. These little clay people are also inviting you, and other people to do the same. It would be easy to miss these clay people, just as it is easy to miss a bright flower, bird, dragonfly or patterned lichen.

Are these figures happy or sad? Without gender or race or age specified, who are they? Are they together in clans, or apart, isolated in a crowd? Are they dancing, or fighting? Do they come to celebrate the land, or to spoil it? Which one is you? Which one would you like to be? Are they climbing up to help each other, to work together, play, learn, create, and evolve collectively? Or are they exploiting and climbing over each other in a race to the top? How do they make you feel? If you found them in the woods, would you laugh, be annoyed or uncomfortable? Would you leave them there, move them or destroy them? Who are they, how do they connect to each other, how do we connect with each other? Who are the people you carry in your head, who are you connected to in your lives? How do you relate to the world about you? When was the last time you stopped and sat on a rock to look, to listen, to absorb, to communicate, to connect?


Kiran Vaghela- Final work 2013

Kiran Vaghela

 aug2013 1503

On the path of my life

I have created my own image.

associated with my ‘I’.

To maintain this image it become the aim of my life

As the time passes by

Life become tiresome and boring

Even multiple images of my ‘I’

Don’t work, they looses their glitter and

Feel desolated in the jungle of my ‘I’

As I mov away from the mirror and

My image disappears too

Now I am  able to feel I am part of the whole

Relieved from my ‘I’

On distant blue lake is ,

Calling me.

Setting the path of my journey

On a playful jungle trail

The reflective surface on the way reminds me of my past

But …

I have left it far behind me .

I am on the path of nature.

I am free as the transparent jungle breeze.


Pascale Peyret-Final work 2013

Pascale Peyret

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Héliophanie II : vegetal relics

I am a photographer as well as a visual artist, I use the « camera obscura » and other ancient techniques for my photographic set-ups. I am moved by memory charged objects as well as actively involved in the process of capturing mother nature through the world of growing plants.

This installation of 50 cyanotypes is inspired by the work of the scientists in Benne Eighe reserve, collecting vegetal species in small enveloppes.

These vegetal relics have been taken from the  oldest graves of Gairloch cemetery. They are a kind of notebook for the souls, an anthropo-flore epitaph, syncretism of human, sun and growing vegetation.





Tatsunori Fujii-Final work 2013

Tatsunori Fujii

I hang 1,600 pieces of small white cloth to wood.

I install them in a crack and the circumference of the stone.

1,600 pieces of cloth is population of Gairloch.

This prays for happiness.

However, they are exposed to an invisible thing to our eyes now.

I stare at things in the background.


Piotr Zamojski- Final work 2013

Piotr Zamojski

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the abandoned house, Taggan

pencil on the wall

typeface: New Caledonia

The starting point of the work was the hand-written sentence found on site on the wall-paper. „I kissed her on the ship and the crew began to roar (…)“ is the slightly changed first line from an old seamen’s song called Baltimore Shanty.

In the work four lines of the refrain are written in New Caledonia typeface on the walls. The idea of repetition can be understood as a reflection upon the cycle of leaving and returning.

Lynn Bennett-Mackenzie- Final work 2013

Lynn Bennett-Mackenzie


Humans by their nature like to accumulate possessions,  own a space, maybe a home, favourite place,  piece of land, and lay claim to that area.  Nature in the end is the ultimate landowner and although we like to think we are separate,  in control of spaces – we are not, we are an integral part of nature, and often forget that fact.  We can protect ourselves with clothing, housing, barriers, vaccinations, dwell in an area, but eventually nature will evolve and reclaim by means of growth, natural disaster, and disease.

We are but a speck in time, here only for a very short spell of time and actually in reality, probably know very little about that that surrounds us.

We preserve, manage, conserve protect but also destroy, leave marks, we like to think that our time here will be remembered.  Do we have the right to claim ownership of anywhere we exist; after all, we are only passing through…shadows in history…

With this work, opening up a human habitation to nature, the process of decomposition had already begun with the caravan being unfit for anyone to live in.  A door without a handle indicates privacy of space, ownership.

An area in the woods has also been “claimed”, cordoned off, a private space, ownership, but this will also eventually disappear, nature will take back what is hers.



Nicola Gear-Final work 2013

Nicola Gear – Scotland

One of the first days at the field station, I went with one of the botanists on a walk up a river to find a liverwort that is only found in 3 places in the world, one of them is Scotland.

The scientist walked slowly, looking at her feet, this was a new way of walking for me and it inspired this floor text about flowers. I have chosen the national flowers of each country represented by the artists on this residency. You will find different kinds of information about these flowers, representing the different ways we think about them and the changes in the history of each country. The individual flowers last a short time, the stories sometimes persist over hundreds of years, the only thing that remains constant in our time is the use of Latin as an international language for naming flowers. The flower stories follow the river courses that flow from Loch Maree.