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Creative Nature Scotland is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and unique natural heritage. We have the UK’s highest mountains, deepest lochs, acres of forest and miles upon miles of unspoilt moorland. We have iconic wildlife, historic landscapes, and can boast an incredible 6,000 miles of shoreline – from rugged cliffs to pearlwhite beaches – with almost 800 islands scattered around the coast. Our land is one of outstanding beauty. In 2013, Scotland wants to celebrate this. The Year of Natural Scotland is a year-long showcase of these natural assets, and offers a chance for all who live in and visit this country to look again, explore and marvel at what we have. As part of the Year of Natural Scotland, a series of artistic projects has been funded by Creative Scotland with support by Scottish Natural Heritage, bringing together organisations from the arts and environmental worlds. From living sculptures in our forests to performance picnics and scavenger hunts, sound maps and songs inspired by traditions of our fishing grounds, these projects are inspired by our natural environment, but working with artists, and communities who inhabit these spaces. Get out into Scotland’s great outdoors with this pocket-sized guide and discover some unique art that’s happening off the beaten track. 1

Aberdeen, My Place in the Natural World Aden, Balmedie, Haddo and Haughton Country Parks Spring and Autumn 2013 Aberdeen, My Place in the Natural World offers a great opportunity for young people to create a range of digital media influenced by the beauty of Aden, Balmedie, Haddo and Haughton Country parks. Working with artists, school pupils are making poems, artwork and photography, based on stories from local rangers and residents. They are also developing promotional films, sound maps, podcasts and an ebook to be shared through displays and exhibitions at libraries, community centres and the Digilab film festival. A partnership between Aberdeen City Council Reading Bus and Music Without Bars.


Atomic Doric Woodend Barn, Deeside May – November 2013 (Festival 29 November – 1 December) Atomic Doric takes a look a Scotland’s landscape and its connections to the wider world with a range of art projects taking place across Aberdeenshire from May to November. Workshops and performances by the Scott Skinner Antennae offer a great way to explore techniques with two of Scotland’s leading contemporary fiddle players (Paul Anderson and Aidan O’Rourke). Come along to the sessions to uncover connections between music, land and people, and be part of Paul and Aidan’s project to compose new music pieces. Don’t miss the chance to collaborate with artist Chris Dooks who is inviting everyone to come and talk about Aberdeenshire’s surroundings, record sounds, take photos and be part of a new feature film project. And there will be community and ranger-led walks and workshops, led by experimental vocalist Wounded Knee, Noise Choir with Lindsay Duncanson, textile artist Alison Bell and dancer/ choreographer Hayley Durward. A partnership between Scottish Natural Heritage, National Trust for Scotland, Mar Lodge Estate, Cairngorm National Park and Glen Tanar Estate.


Da Fishing Hands Fair Isle Scheduled to take place during 2014 Local information about the Fair Isle fishing grounds used to be passed down orally from generation to generation, without being recorded. Now, a new map, made by Emma Perring with the help of local fishermen Stewart Thomson, George Stout and Brian Wilson captures these grounds – and with the help of the Fair Isle Marine Environment, composers Inge Thomson and Lise Sinclair are creating new music and song inspired by this environment and its changing use. Using this new map and illustrations as their starting point, the artists have interviewed local residents and natural history experts to create Da Fishing Hands, a musical piece that will be performed and recorded at different venues including Shetland’s multi-arts venue Mareel.


Dark Wood Locations throughout Scotland 21 September – 2 November 2013 This autumn, take a night-time walk in the woods and find the fantastic Giants in the Forest hanging in locations across Scotland, growing and changing with the season. These evocative natural sculptures are lit up at night with soundscapes and storytelling accompanying your journey through the woods. You can get involved in outdoor arts workshops and upload photos of your visit to the Giants website. Combining art, technology and the natural environment, Dark Wood is a great way to experience Scotland’s amazing wilderness.


Environmental Arts Festival Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Talks and events throughout the year Festival 30 August – 2 September 2013 Head to Dumfries and Galloway for Scotland’s very first Environmental Arts Festival, a celebration of a diverse natural landscape, combined with a magnificent range of world-class environmental art. Existing works from Henry Moore, Andy Goldsworthy, Charles Jencks, and Dalziel + Scullion, will be supplemented by specially-commissioned new pieces. Also featured as part of the festival are internationally renowned projects, such as Jupiter Artland, the garden of discovery, and Little Sparta, Ian Hamilton Finlay’s landscape masterpiece. The festival provides a unique opportunity to look at the themes of Energy and the Land through projects ranging from commissions and talks to seminars and workshops led by experts in art and the environment. A partnership between Wide Open, Spring Fling and The Stove.


Island Drift Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park From Autumn 2013

Island Drift is a new project by public art and events specialists, NVA. Working with Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, NVA will be designing installations across Loch Lomond, as the basis for creating a series of enigmatic still images. Using light installations across both land and water, Island Drift will reveal new aspects of the islands and their wider setting. This area forms a unique freshwater grouping, which contains over 3,000 years of cultural history, and the project will look to investigate this recent history, against the older natural order of evolutionary and geographical change. The work will be created in autumn 2013 and presented at a new location within the National Park in 2014.


Journeys: Walking a Line Dunbar, East Lothian 22 June – 31 August 2013 This summer take a trip to the east coast fishing town of Dunbar with a new project by North Lights Arts. Journeys: Walking a Line centres on the birthplace of John Muir, one of the world’s great conservationists whose pioneering work led to the creation of the USA’s major national parks. Through walking, marking and recording, and through the sharing of ideas, exhibition, performance and participation, encounter the rich and beautiful landscape that inspired Muir. The project delves into the ideas of environmental sustainability and the potential of the landscape through artist residencies in the town, collaborations between galleries and artists, a film programme, guided walks and workshops. A partnership between North Light Arts, Friends of John Muir, ELC Museums and Arts Service, ELC Landscape and Countryside, Ranger Service, Incredibly Edible Dunbar, Dunbar Cycle Group, Dunbar Harbour Trust and Dunbar Scifest.


Natural Bennachie Bennachie, Aberdeenshire June – November 2013 Featuring four international artists working on the mountain, its surrounding landscape and in local community spaces, Natural Bennachie mixes artist residencies, workshops, presentations, children’s projects and events, offering every visitor the chance to look at the North-East’s most prominent landmark in new and unique ways. Artists working in film, photography, installation, sculpture and paintings will lead a programme of workshops and activities, delving into Bennachie’s social history, its landscape and geology, and work alongside the community to develop new pieces which explore the iconic mountain. Events take place throughout the year, including public discussions and walks, and culminating in a celebratory event and exhibition. For artists, the community and visitors alike, this is a great way to get involved in a wonderful exploration of Aberdeenshire’s landscape. A partnership between the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Forestry Commission Scotland, Bailies of Bennachie, Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service and the University of Aberdeen.


Sensory Mapping Project Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow Throughout 2013 This project from social care provider Sense Scotland offers their users an opportunity to create new sensory artworks. Visiting remote areas near Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow, participants, artists and walk leaders collaborate to make artwork based on their experiences of the landscape, mapping out the area in new ways. Service users can discover their relationship with a natural area and then express their responses via the artwork. This piece will then have a practical purpose, serving as a map and information board for future visitors to the area. A partnership between Sense Scotland and artists Jemima Chillingworth, Dawn Fraser and Imelda Neale.


Sexy Peat The Lewis Peatlands, Outer Hebrides, and Highland Print Studio, Inverness June 2013 onwards This year a new body of contemporary visual art will be produced in response to the rich ecology and heritage of the Lewis Peatlands in the Outer Hebrides. Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin offers the chance for an artist to investigate the remarkable landscape of the bog and moorlands of the Lewis Peatlands, their abundance of colour, texture and life forms and the way these features have affected the people who have lived with the moor for generations. Through this project, the artist investigates and celebrates the land, its people and their heritage, culminating in an exhibition of new works at Highland Print Studio in November. Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin also highlights the significant role that peatlands play in global climate regulation, with the new visual art raising the profile of the peatlands and their environmental importance. A partnership between Highland Print Studio and Cape Farewell.


Sound Out @ Seven Lochs Seven Lochs Wetland Park, Glasgow/North Lanarkshire June 2013 onwards This summer, head to Seven Lochs Wetland Parks and get involved in an exciting music project. Sound Out@Seven Lochs invites local residents to work with artists to create, record and present new music taking inspiration from the natural heritage of the area. There’s also the chance to take part in music-making workshops with Oi Musica, combining percussion, brass, woodwind and voice, culminating in performances and recordings later in the year. The park is also an ideal place for walks, cycling and wildlife-watching so look out for taster sessions and workshops at venues around the Wetlands Park area and be part of a music experience that all the family can enjoy. A partnership between Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership, Platform Arts and Oi Musica.


Sweeny,s Bothy / Bothan Shuibhne Eigg Throughout 2013 Led by internationally-acclaimed artist Alec Finlay, Sweeny’s Bothy is an artistdesigned retreat for artists, writers and the public. Offering reflection on wild nature and contemporary culture, the programme features guided walks, artist residencies, public residencies, symposium and special opening ceremony. Sweeny’s Bothy is run by the Bothy Project, an art initiative that aims to develop a network of small-scale residency spaces in distinct and diverse locations around Scotland. Sweeny’s Bothy will be located on Eigg and based on Alec Finlay’s own design, inspired by the 7th Century Gaelic King Sweeny. A partnership between the Bothy Project and the John Muir Trust.


TENT:acular Fife 26, 27 and 28 July 2013 Head to Fife this summer for TENT:acular, an atmospheric theatrical event within Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve and Tentsmuir Forest near Tayport. Here you can see dancers exploring the history, fauna and flora of the area and take part in scavenger hunts – leading you around ten locations to see each part of the performance. Follow the map along trails and puzzles around the site, visiting picnics and tea parties on your way, with different tents representing the wildlife and humans who have made their homes in Tentsmuir over the years. Take a journey into forgotten locations and evolving landscapes, culminating in a final performance in special eco domes deep in the forest. A partnership between Smallpetitklein, The Forestry Commission and Scottish Natural Heritage at the Tentsmuir Nature Reserve.


Walking with Poets Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Cove Park June – September 2013 This year poets Sue Butler, Mandy Haggith, Jean Atkin and Gerry Loose have taken up poetry residencies at the four gardens of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Edinburgh; Benmore, Argyll; Dawyck, Scottish Borders; and Logan, Dumfries & Galloway), as well as at Cove Park. Walking with Poets provides a chance for these poets to immerse themselves in the magnificent environments and share their awareness, their practice, and their vision of nature with communities around Scotland and the world. The residencies take place throughout the year and there will be a special closing event held at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on St Andrew’s Day 2013. Each of the poets will be blogging about their residency at: A partnership between Scottish Poetry Library, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Cove Park.


Working the Tweed Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre and along the River Tweed Throughout 2013 Running through the heart of Scottish Borders and covering a length of almost 100 miles, the River Tweed continues to be a source of inspiration. This year, four artists focus on the river from source to mouth, creating events, activities and new music. Working the Tweed unites visual artist Kate Foster, writer Jules Horne, choreographer Claire Penรงak and composer James Wyness, with local environmental organisations the Tweed Forum and Southern Uplands Partnership.

Working the Tweed exhibition Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre 9-31 October 2013 An exhibition by the artists from the project, exploring the hidden worlds, maps and languages of the River Tweed.

River Action Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre 19 October 2013 An afternoon of artist-led activities based on working the Tweed. A partnership between Tabula Rasa, the Tweed Forum and Southern Uplands Partnership.


John Muir International Artist in Residence This residency opportunity was established to celebrate the life, work and legacy of the great Scottish writer, explorer and naturalist John Muir. From August 2013, artist Ueno Masao will begin his residency in Dumfries and Galloway to develop new work and deliver a number of public events and masterclasses. Masao is an established Japanese sculptor who makes work that combines the latest digital technology with traditional craft techniques.


The John Muir Trail This major new trail runs through central Scotland linking John Muir’s birthplace town of Dunbar and his legacy of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, sparking awareness of the local landscapes and wild places along the route. Bringing together beautiful scenery, wildlife and historic sites, this is a great way to explore local heritage plus major attractions, including John Muir Country Park, Hopetoun House, the Antonine Wall, the Forth & Clyde and Union canals and the Falkirk Wheel. Winding through forests and farms, along canals and beaches, the John Muir Trail is great for a day out, weekend break or holiday getaway. The route is being developed by Scottish Natural Heritage with support from a range of partners in the Central Scotland Green Network. It will be officially opened in April 2014, though parts of the trail can be explored now.


The John Muir Graphic Novel Produced for a new generation of teenagers (12-15 year olds), and to be distributed free to secondary schools throughout Scotland in April 2014, these illustrated stories will raise awareness of our natural environment, and encourage young people to become more actively involved in protecting and enhancing our wild places – in the spirit of John Muir. Created by the Scottish teen author Julie Bretagna and the Glasgow based illustrator William Goldsmith, the John Muir graphic novel will educate and encourage responsible behaviour around enjoying, respecting and preserving our natural environment – both within school and also through a range of afterschool environmental activities. A partnership between Scottish Book Trust, with Creative Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Education Scotland.


By Leaves We Live Across Scotland Throughout 2013 To make the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 and to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Planning Aid for Scotland (PAS) is delivering a national project to pay homage to Scottish biologist, sociologist, geographer, philanthropist and town planner Patrick Geddes. The By Leaves We Live project sees six artists working in residencies in six locations across Scotland, collaborating with six groups of planners to create temporary public artworks which explore, examine and inspire debate around Scotland’s natural environment. A partnership between Planning Aid for Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Central Scotland Green Network and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.


Imagining Natural Scotland Initiated by Creative Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the University of St Andrews, Imagining Natural Scotland is a major new project which looks at the relationship between the natural world and how it is represented. Through collaboration between the creative and scientific sectors, artistic practitioners and academics are teaming up to produce investigations and creative work, resulting in a publication and a major conference.


Get Naturally Inspired! Don’t miss many other exclusive events linking culture and nature in this special Year of Natural Scotland. Why not learn about nature and art of our Infinite Scotland by downloading our app on From August, upload your photos, poetry or writing about Scottish places and landscapes that have inspired you to the revamped Placebook Scotland website And make the most of the Year of Natural Scotland by attending one of the art focused series of activity days and events planned at several National Nature Reserves this year, from Trad Trails music performances taking place across the country to special artist residences.


Creative Scotland Creative Scotland works to develop the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland. We fund individuals and organisations so they can make new work, develop ideas and get people involved in the arts. For more information on who we are and what we do, visit

Scottish Natural Heritage Scottish Natural Heritage is the leading public body responsible for advising on all of Scotland’s nature and landscape – the natural assets that underpins Scotland’s wealth, health and quality of life. Our work is about caring for the natural heritage, enabling people to enjoy it, helping people to understand and appreciate it, and supporting those who manage it.


Where to Take Part Scotland Wide


Dark Wood

Aden, Balmedie Haddo and Haughton Country Parks Spring and Autumn 2013 Page 2

Locations throughout Scotland 21 September – 2 November 2013 Page 5

John Muir International Artist in Residence


The John Muir Graphic Novel Page 19 Across Scotland Throughout 2013 Page 20


Get Naturally Inspired! Page 22


Da Fishing Hands Fair Isle Scheduled to take place during 2014 Page 4

Imagining Natural Scotland Page 21

Atomic Doric Woodend Barn, Deeside May – November Festival 29 November – 1 December Page 3

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By Leaves We Live

Aberdeen, My Place in the Natural World


Environmental Arts Festival Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Talks and events throughout 2013 Festival 30 August – 2 September 2013 Page 6


Island Drift


Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park From Autumn 2013 Page 7 6

Journeys: Walking a Line Dunbar, East Lothian 22 June – 31 August 2013 Page 8


Natural Bennachie Bennachie, Aberdeenshire June – November 2013 Page 9



Sexy Peat The Lewis Peatlands, Outer Hebrides, and Highland Print Studio, Inverness June 2013 onwards Page 11


Eigg Throughout 2013 Page 13 12

Sound Out @ Seven Lochs Seven Lochs Wetland Park, Glasgow/North Lanarkshire June 2013 onwards Page 12

TENT:acular Fife 26, 27 and 28 July 2013 Page 14


Walking with Poets Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Cove Park June – September 2013 Page 15

Sensory Mapping Project Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow Throughout 2013 Page 10

Sweenys Bothy Bothan Shuibhne


Working the Tweed Harestanes Countryside Visitor Centre and along the River Tweed Throughout 2013 Page 16

The John Muir Trail Page 18


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Creative Scotland Waverley Gate 2–4 Waterloo Place Edinburgh EH1 3EG Scotland UK 249 West George Street  Glasgow G2 4QE  Scotland UK Reception +44 (0) 330 333 2000 Enquiries +44 (0) 845 603 6000

Creative Nature - Arts, Nature and Seeing Places Differently  

The Year of Natural Scotland 2013 is a year-long showcase of Scotland's natural assets, and offers a chance for all who live in and visit th...

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