An international collaboration between artists, Lynn Bennett-Mackenzie, Scotland, and Somu Desai, India, to create a series of artists residencies that will bring artists from around the globe to work in the NW Highlands of Scotland.

Ceangal, in conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and other local partners, are celebrating the Year of Natural Scotland and have invited a group of international artists to come and work in the Gairloch/Kinlochewe area this August.  Particular focus will be on creating works within the Beinn Eighe nature reserve.  This is the UK’s first National Nature Reserve, established more than 50 yrs ago, and is in an area renowned for its natural beauty and variety of landscape, flora and fauna.

This will be the second international artists’ residency here and we have participants coming from Japan, Poland, France, India and Scotland.  It builds not only on the success of Ceangal 2012, which was essentially a pilot project, but also on links with Beinn Eighe nature reserve – a valuable local asset that draws many visitors to the West Highlands.

Ceangal and SNH would like to raise awareness of importance of the care of the diverse Highland environment with consideration of how nature preservation, conservation and land use views have changed since the introduction of Nature reserves.

We hope to promote interaction with the Beinn Eighe reserve and the surrounding area: how do the local population view the reserve and its surroundings?  Can the introduction of art widen perceptions and encourage more into the reserve?  Can we detect changes in attitudes over the last 40 years over issues such as land ownership and management?

“SNH have become adept at conveying information and key messages through conventional interpretation – like leaflets, nature trails, visitor centres, information panels, web information.  Environmental art, and especially actually collaborating with artists is a new area for us and is likely to challenge the ways we normally think about engaging people with nature.”

SNH is in the process of developing the Beinn Eighe reserve,  and the opportunity of working with Ceangal provides a unique opportunity to develop a permanent relationship with art and environment, connecting, informing and involving the wider public through the medium of visual art as an additional aesthetic.  This may allow the highlighting of and discussion of sometimes controversial issues.  The community, seeing their surroundings viewed through unbiased visiting artists eyes may allow for expression of their own opinions with more confidence.  We hope that the public may take on greater “ownership” of the reserve and become more actively involved with the landscape.

The artists will give presentations about their work and culture whilst here. There will be a Strupag (lunch) in Kinlochewe Village Hall on Friday 16th August, 12-2pm as well as a Ceilidh in Gairloch community hall on Sat 17th August.   For those who are interested in getting “hands on”, there are Nature’s art (20th & 21st Aug) and Ephemeral art (26th Aug) workshops to encourage people to participate.  People are also encouraged to come along, meet the artists, and maybe create works of their own.  Ceangal also have a regularly updated website, FB page and blog.  Also regular local radio updates as well as recorded interviews and a live radio show on Two Lochs Radio on  Sunday 18th August will add to accessibility.

The dates for this residency are 14th – 31st August, with the final show being in Kinlochewe Village Hall on 30th August.

Ceangal is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in Scotland – no. 413391
Registered at Croit mo Sheanair, 29 Strath, Gairloch, Ross-Shire, IV21 2DA

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  1. Pingback: Where art and nature meet: Curator Jane Ingram Allen on the first International Nature Art Curators’ Conference in Korea | Art Radar Asia « The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts

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