Artist in Residence
Over the lifetime of the project (until lockdown restrictions affected our plans) artists, selected through a process of recruitment and interview, spent time in the project area living and working alongside either a single project or possibly a number of projects, to explore how the project’s processes and outcomes can be expressed and interpreted in artistic forms. The periods of the residencies vary according to the specific project(s) in question, the preferred medium of the artist selected and wider community engagement outcomes identified.
The aims of the project are to:
- Engage the people of Coigach & Assynt, as well as visitors, through active participation in the creation and expression of ideas and concepts brought to the Scheme by artists selected to participate in the residencies.
- Enhance and develop Coigach & Assynt as a place of artistic and creative activity and bring together the many creative people living in the area.
- Engage viewers with different and original ways of thinking about, interpreting and understanding the living landscape of this area.
The third artist-in-residence, Clara Elliot, was appointed in Spring 2021.
Clara Elliot is a Scotland-based artist whose work aims to reflect the relationship between landscapes, people and ecology. With a background in art history and landscape architecture, her work takes an interdisciplinary approach, using a range of textile techniques to explore the ‘fabric’ of a place. As artist in residence she will be focussing on red deer and their relationship to the landscapes and communities of Coigach and Assynt.
Clara was an artist-in-residence in the true sense of term, staying in a studio in Glencanisp owned by the Assynt Foundation to accommodate both visiting artists and those living more locally as they go through their creative processes. She used the time to meet local people and explore the area, looking at how the interactions between the red deer and people shape their lives and the landscape. The Assynt Foundation is currently exploring a number of venues in which to display finished works, including, appropriately, an old deer larder.
The Assynt Foundation was originally set up to manage the community buyout of 18,000 hectares of land in the area. It aims to manage its land and associated assets for the benefit of the community and the public in general as an important part of the protection and sustainable development of Scotland’s natural environment.
The residence project feeds into this by engaging folk in Coigach & Assynt, as well as visitors, through actively participating in creating and expressing the ideas and concepts brought to the Scheme by the chosen artists. It also aims to enhance and develop Coigach & Assynt as a place for artistic and creative activity, to bring together the many creative people living in the area, and engage people in different and original ways of thinking about, interpreting and understanding the living landscape of this area.
Workshops for schools and adults took place as part of the residency, and members of the public were welcome to come along to hear about Clara’s project and to make work of their own.
Previous CALLP Artist in Residence projects include Julia Cowie who focussed on Clachtoll Broch, and by Alex McKay who composed music responding to the path to Suilven. Follow the links below to find out more about these innovative residences:
Julia Cowie (2018)
Alex Mackay (2020)
You can listen to the pieces here:
The Assynt Foundation is currently advertising for a third residency, with the theme of red deer. To find out more you can download the formal invitation to apply: Red Deer Artist in Residence invitation. The deadline is Monday 1 March 2021.