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New opportunity to explore the Cairngorms Connect area in a creative way

A new Endangered Landscapes Artist Residency offers opportunities to celebrate how people connect to the landscape in the Cairngorms.

Viewing an area through someone else’s eyes, often reveals new stories and knowledge we were unaware of before. In the Cairngorms, Nan Shepherd’s writing encourages you to wonder at the different aspects of the landscape while Frank Bruce’s sculptures at Forestry and Land Scotland’s Feshiebridge explores Scottish culture and stories. These different methods of relating to landscape and culture evoke our feelings and emotions to view areas in new ways.


This year sees the launch of a new artist residency within the Cairngorms Connect area which will bring an artist or collective will work alongside partners and the local community to explore the landscape in these different and creative ways. This residency is part of a collaboration between the Endangered Landscape Programme and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative’s Arts, Science and Conservation Programme to create the Endangered Landscapes Artist Residencies and Arts Prize. 


The residency is open to all contemporary artists, makers or collectives, with priority given to those who have a link to the landscape in the Cairngorms, to submit an expression of interest from 7th January 2021 as part of a two-stage competitive process. Entries are welcomed from any medium, from new to traditional artforms which will allow reconnection with nature. This could include, but is not limited to: music, painting, writing, ceramics, photography, glassblowing, sculpture, poetry, performance, and site-specific installation.


The creation of this collaborative process recognises the importance the arts play in addressing environmental challenges and understanding how people and communities interact with the landscape. Starting in June 2021, the selected proposal will celebrate this across land managed by Forestry and Land Scotland, NatureScot, RSPB Scotland and Wildland Limited, which make up the Cairngorms Connect project area, with $5,400 US dollars being awarded as part of the residency.


This type of collaboration is not new for the Cairngorms Connect partnership who worked with a local Strathspey folk composer Hamish Napier, in the production of his successful album “The Woods”. The album explored the stories and unique nature of the different tree species which make the woodlands in the Cairngorms so distinctive. While composing the music, Hamish spent time connecting with different people in the area and the project, discovering their passion and stories of the area which are all reflected in the music. This connection created a beautiful album which was awarded ‘Album of the Year’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2020.


Residencies are also available in the seven other implementation landscape restoration projects funded by the Endangered Landscapes Programme, including in Wales and throughout Europe. This gives opportunities for artists to work in diverse habitats, though they are expected to have a significant link to their chosen project area. At the end of the residencies, there will be an art prize of $2,500 US dollars awarded to the most outstanding piece of work from the eight implementation project areas.


Further information about the residencies can be found on the website: www.endangeredlandscapes.org/landscape-residencies
with Expressions of Interest forms available from 7th January for one month.

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