Thursday, 15 June 2017

Lasma Poisa AIR 2017

Inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost, I used my time at Outlandia to explore the idea of getting lost as a cultural and psychological metaphor; of losing oneself, of loss and longing. Because of its remote location and the distance from home, Outlandia held the potential of losing oneself in the wilderness. 

Each day, planned in accordance with the weather forecast, I made the two hour round journey to and from Outlandia; time I used for observation, exploration and creativity. I made countless stops to record my findings, each time searching through my enormous rucksack filled with essential equipment for that day. I made journeys into the woodland in and around Outlandia and the neighbouring Cow Hill. During this time I created a wealth of source material (photographs, sound recordings and videos) to be processed later on my return to my Manchester studio. 

I picked the brightest day to experiment with off-grid cyanotype printing, which, simple in theory, turned out to be more challenging than expected; carrying heavy 2lt bottles filled with mountain stream water up the very steep Peat Track, building ad-hoc darkroom due to unforeseen skylight and then balancing the chemical reaction of the ever changing sunlight.  Eventually I managed to create a series of prints and cyanotype postcards of Outlandia that I sent out the following day.

I realise now that the work I created in my residency is about Outlandia; it is about the fantasy of withdrawing from society, the longing for wilderness and about finding somewhere to disappear.

‘For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that colour of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The colour of that distance is the colour of an emotion, the colour of solitude and of desire, the colour of there seen form here, the colour of where you are not. And the colour of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains.’
Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2005) pp. 29-30.

All images by Lasma Poisa

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

8 x artist residencies offered at Outlandia, Glen Nevis, Scotland in 2017

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN), mapping the Visual Arts goes live. Creative Scotland have today published their full Visual Arts Sector Review. You can read the full document and appendixes on Creative Scotland’s website here.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Holly Muir–AIR 2016

"My week in Outlandia was more challenging than I expected, but as rewarding as I had hoped. I spent each day there reading, writing and sketching to develop ideas for my installation, the construction of which will begin this month. I began by gathering knowledge about the social history and iconic visuals of Glen Nevis, researching various ideas about wilderness and what it means for cultural identity. I soon felt overwhelmed by the situation I had put myself in. How could I succinctly capture the essence of this beautiful and complex location, a place that I had naively expected to have little human history? My answer was to frame the work around my personal experience and imaginings of the area. I have decided that my installation is going to take the form of a wooden diorama, similar to something you might find in a Natural History Museum. The subject of the scene is the idea of rewilding; the diorama proposes a historical event in which the Glen has been rewilded with Scottish Picts. It will consist of a wooden frieze - depicting a landscape sourced from my photographs and film footage taken during the residency - which provides a backdrop for two figurative sculptures that are dressed in hand-made costumes. It will be a playful work, but should provoke thoughts about real issues within the Scottish landscape. I found Outlandia an incredibly peaceful and inspiring environment and am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work there."

Holly Muir is an artist who uses historical and fictional narratives as a basis for timber installations, which also often include textiles, figurative painting and printing. She is interested in romantic tropes, mass-media imagery and notions of authenticity. Holly also designs stage sets.

All images courtesy the artist

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Exhibition in the Window, Caol, Fort William

Stories from the Glen

[wish] [miann] brings together the work of two Lochaber based artists, Jen Deschenes and Ali Berardelli who have created a series of images and text in response to time spent in Glen Nevis at the artist’s treehouse, Outlandia. Exploring local folklore and examining historical objects synonymous with the area Jen and Ali have created a pictorial epitaph representing people and their stories alongside charms and votives used in the past as methods of protection. The exhibition has been showing in the Window, Caol, and is transferring to the West Highland Museum, March–May 2016.

Jen Deschenes and Ali Berardelli are both graduates from Glasgow School of Art and for the two friends this is their first formal collaboration.

Jen was born and brought up in the Shetland Isles and now lives in Spean Bridge. Jen creates sculptural work based on her origins as a textile artist using screen printing, embroidery, and drawing. Storytelling has been at the core of her work and she has a love of exploring new materials and resolving her designs with a variety of mediums.  Ali Berardelli has always lived in Fort William and she is greatly influenced by the community around her and nature and the stories embedded within it.  Ali has been coordinating art projects for many years within Lochaber and alongside this has continued her practice in drawing, collage, photography and typography.

All images courtesy of the artists

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Bethan Maddocks–AIR 2015

It is the penultimate day of the residency so perhaps it is apt that this morning was spent talking about goodbyes and loss. I am surrounded by mountains everywhere and this landscape makes me think of my father who was a keen mountaineer and died 15 years ago. It makes me wonder of how much these mountains have seen, how many passings, how much change over the millennia and epochs since they were born and shaped out of ice and fire.
This landscape is poetic and Outlandia is a place of solitude but not loneliness, a place of contemplation and connection. [Extracted from Bethan Maddocks' web site.] 
Read more here.

All images courtesy the artist

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Claire MacLeod–AIR October 2015

Claire Macleod explored clans, calligraphy & culture during her Outlandia residency. "The stories of people who have lived in the glen through ages and generations was especially interesting, and having studied these stories and met some of the people who have lived in the glen in the past century, I cannot fail to see the place in the context of these stories. This is especially true when walking across the Peat Track, past the pathway into Outlandia and down into the glen. It is because of the Nevis area that I moved to Lochaber and is a place I hold very dear. I have been on the Board of Trustees for a charity called Friends of Nevis since 2011, whose aim is to help the local community look after and manage Ben Nevis and the surrounding landscape. In the past year I have enjoyed exploring grafted calligraphy and would like to work with words and stories from people who have lived in Glen Nevis, giving them a voice, using text and textiles. Although I am mainly involved in design and film, I would welcome the opportunity to explore stitched word further".
Claire speaks briefly about her residency in the following video:

Video courtesy the artist