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 Nevis Landscape Partnership

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture published by Ashgate

  • Edited by Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson, both at London Fieldworks, UK and Tracey Warr, Oxford Brookes University, UK
  • This book explores the relationship between place and forms of thought and creative activity, relating Outlandia and the artists there to the tradition of generative thinking and making structures that have included Goethe’s Gartenhaus in Weimar, Henry Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond and Dylan Thomas’s writing shack in Laugharne.

    Based on a series of residencies and radio broadcasts produced by London Fieldworks in collaboration with Resonance 104.4fm, the Remote Performances project enabled twenty invited artists to consider and engage in transmissions, sound performances and dialogues on their artmaking strategies immersed in this specific rural environment of mountain, forest and river; flora and fauna. Some artists engaged in dialogue with people living and working in the area with a range of specialisms and experience in, for examples, forestry, mountain culture, wildlife, tourism, and local history. This book explores the ways in which being in the field impacts on artists and permeates through to the artworks they create. It considers the relationship between geography and contemporary art and artists’ use of maps and fieldwork. It charts these artists’ explorations of the ecological and cultural value of the natural environment, questioning our perceptions and relationships to landscape, climate and their changes. The book is an inspiring collection of ways to think differently about our relationship with the changing natural environment.

    The book includes essays by Jo Joelson, Francis McKee, Tracey Warr and Bruce Gilchrist, and texts, images and drawings by the artists: Bram Thomas Arnold, Ruth Barker, Ed Baxter, Johny Brown, Clair Chinnery, Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, Ben Drew, Alec Finlay & Ken Cockburn, Goodiepal, Sarah Kenchington, London Fieldworks & Mark Vernon, Lisa O’Brien, Lee Patterson, Michael Pedersen, Geoff Sample, Tracey Warr and Tony White, reflecting on the notion of contemporary remoteness and creative responses to Outlandia and its wider context.
  • Contents: Introduction, Jo Joelson; A survey of the terrain, Francis McKee; Kelpies, banshees and pibrochs heard in these parts, Geoff Sample; Like like, Michael Pederson; Selections from The Hut Book, Alec Finlay; From a train, Goodiepal; The sound of Lochaber, London Fieldworks and Mark Vernon; Geo graphy, Tracey Warr; There’s a monster in the nest-box, Clair Chinnery; In search of silence, Lisa O’Brien; Composing with place, Kirsteen Davidson Kelly; A sense of distance, Lee Patterson; Notes for a video, Benedict Drew; The contemporary remote, Bruce Gilchrist; Second sketch for ascent and descent, Ed Baxter; Euphonium at sea, Sarah Kenchington; Notes after a week of wandering, Bram Thomas Arnold; Echo. Genius loci, Ruth Barker; Into Outlandia, Johny Brown; High-lands, Tony White; Endnotes on remoteness, Clair Chinnery, Lisa O’Brien and Bram Thomas Arnold; Further resources; Index.
  • Purchase the book from the Ashgate website with the following 50% discount code: 50DCB15N

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Mike Dodd–AIR

"The peculiar motion of the current among the ice-floes [in winter] has woven the thousands of floating pine-needles into compacted balls, so intricately intertwined that their symmetrical shape is permanently retained." Nan Shepherd

Using glue which I made from natural, organic constituents, I mimicked the formation of these spheres and placed them near the river and streams in Glen Nevis. They would be washed away in autumn’s and winter’s floods.

Another activity occurred to me just a day or so before I started my residency. I packed a small, old-fashioned letter stamping kit and used it to stamp Gaelic words on trees and stones in the area around Outlandia. They were words or concepts taken from, or relating to, Nan Shepherd’s book.

Samhchadas - Quietness, silence.

My other activity during the week was to make ‘rain drawings’. I was prepared for the ‘sun shadow’ photos but realised that I would probably have some rain during my five days’ residency. When it did rain, I stayed in the treehouse at Outlandia and used water-soluble pencils and ink to produce rain trace images, some in the form of monoprints.
All images courtesy the artist.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

REMOTE CENTRES: Performances from Outlandia–Edinburgh Arts Festival (EAF2015)

Edinburgh College of Art: Tent Gallery
Remote Centres: Performances from Outlandia
30 July – 30 August 2015

An architectural re-configuring of the Outlandia field-station, Remote Centres: Performances from Outlandia sees performance and sound works originally created at Outlandia by 20 artists, poets, writers, musicians and members of the Nevis community, contained within a sculptural environment inside the Tent Gallery. The performances and sound works were originally commissioned for Remote Performances, a series of radio broadcasts from Outlandia, co-produced by London Fieldworks and Resonance 104.4fm, with support from Arts Council England, the Nevis Landscape Partnership, Oxford Brookes University and Forestry Commission Scotland.


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Hanna Tuulikki–AIR August 2015

image source:

"My intention is to create a new vocal composition that responds to the natural acoustics of the forested glen. The artist's fieldstation, with it's hillside setting, is ideal to 'broadcast' a sung piece from, vocalising into the landscape. In Glen Nevis I am excited to test my abilities to respond to different locations near Outlandia, with an awareness of their cultural and historic context. As well as working with performance to camera, I have also been extending my research into Scottish culture, specifically the relationship between folklore and place and investigating the origins of human sound-making, exploring how music has grown out of peoples' relationship with the places in which they dwell."


Monday, 10 August 2015

Kyra Clegg:Su Grierson–AIR August 2015

All images courtesy the artists

While the style and nature of Outlandia is unique and impressive, we found that the never ending stream of visitors coming to the door and within the space made the ‘experience of the calmness and awareness of the environment’ that we had proposed largely unattainable. On the basis that if ‘you can’t beat ‘em join ’em’ we took on the personas of tourists and lookouts to engage with the space....
...and then proceeded to the second strand of our proposal which was to explore the twin August migrations of salmon and tourists into the wider Lochaber area.
We met, interviewed and recorded scientists from Lochaber Fisheries Trust and followed the flow of tourists. We imagined ‘clans’ of fish returning to their home rivers as parallels to the Scottish Homecomings, spawning grounds with clan gatherings, and mountain paths with fish ladders.
Our collection of images, videos and audio files will provide us with the raw material for a new work within our ongoing ‘Horizons’ project.

We are grateful to London Fieldworks and The Nevis Partnership for the use of the Outlandia space.