Wallace Heim writes: The Year of Natural Scotland, an initiative led by the Scottish government, connects the country’s natural diversity and its artistic life. Their economic incentive is to develop tourism and the events industries. The means to do this include 14 arts projects across every region of Scotland.
The projects, supported by Creative Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, will share £500,000 to create events, poetry, walks, films and installations that combine the country’s natural and cultural life.
An outline of the projects shows their geographic and artistic diversity. The longer list of organisations, groups and communities that are collaborating on each project shows the social reach of this economic programme.
- NVA presents Island Drift, a lighting and photographic project on the islands of Loch Lomond.
- Scotland’s Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, Argyll, the Borders and Dumfries & Galloway will develop writing and walking residencies.
- Wide Open and Crichton Carbon Centre, Spring Fling and the Stove will present an International Environmental Arts Festival based on themes of land and energy.
- Walking a Line by Dunbar North Light Arts is a year-long site-specific project of walking, marking and recording in the environment.
- Sound Out@Seven Lochs will compose music and soundscapes for a new planned wetland park near Glasgow.
- Smallpetitklein Dance Company will present an outdoor event with professional and non-professional dancers around the Tentsmuir Nature Reserve.
- Tabula Rasa will bring together artists, environmentalists and people working on the River Tweed.
- Tiny Geographies, by composer and television director Chris Dooks, will gather local stories and music for festivals in Aberdeenshire and Deeside.
- For Natural Bennachie, three artists will work with scientists to celebrate the heritage of this north-eastern landmark.
- My Place in the Natural World will involve young people in Aberdeen and creative digital media.
- The Highland Print Studio and Cape Farewell will deliver the exhibition Sexy Peat celebrating the Lewis blanket bog.
- Composers Inge Thomson and Lise Sinclair will create Da Fishing Hands, a project featuring song about Fair Isle’s fishing grounds and their changing and sustainable use.
- Sweeny’s Bothy / Bothan Shuibhne is an off-grid retreat for artists, writers and the public, involving events, walks, residencies reflecting on wild nature and contemporary culture.
- In addition to these projects, in the Autumn, the Year of Natural Scotland will host a major conference, ‘Reading the Landscape’ exploring the representation, mis-representation, imagining and re-imagining of nature in Scotland.
“ashdenizen blog and twitter are consistently among the best sources for information and reflection on developments in the field of arts and climate change in the UK” (2020 Network)
ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.
The Directory has been live since 2000.
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