The Hebrides, Helensburgh and John O’Groats scoop prestigious awards for public art
New public artworks in the Hebrides, Helensburgh and John O’Groats have emerged as winners of the Saltire Society's prestigious 2016 Art in Public Places Awards.
The ‘Arts in Public Places Awards’ is the new name for the Arts and Crafts in Architecture Awards which the Saltire Society has been running annually for the past 40 years. This year sees the introduction of a new award category for temporary artworks alongside the existing award for permanent exhibits.
The three winning projects each receive a share of a total prize fund of £4000, part-funded by Creative Scotland. The awards presentation took place today (Thursday, 11th August) at the Saltire Society headquarters in central Edinburgh and is the latest in a busy schedule of awards and events marking the Saltire Society’s 80th anniversary year.
Are you LOCATIONALIZED?
The winner of the new temporary art category of the awards is ‘Are you LOCATIONALIZED?’, an ATLAS Arts commission created by former Glasgow School of Art graduates Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan spanning the two Hebridean islands of Skye and North Uist. The project included outdoor structures on both islands, a series of photo-works exhibited at Taigh Chearsabhagh Art Centre on North Uist and a dedicated information desk about the project at the ATLAS Arts Office in Portree on the Isle of Skye. ATLAS is an arts organisation dedicated to visual arts projects and education in Skye and Lochalsh.
The Outdoor Museum
Nomadic Boulders of John O’Groats
Joint winners of the permanent award category were “The Outdoor Museum”, an outdoor display of treasured objects brought forward by local residents and organisations in the Argyll town of Helensburgh and the “Nomadic Boulders of John O’Groats”, a group of three sculptures inspired by the force of the Pentland Firth created by Dundee-based artists Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion.
The permanent exhibits on display in central Helensburgh as part of the Outdoor Museum include a series of historical artefacts encapsulated in acrylic, bronze and stone reproductions of original artefacts as well as three specially commissioned artworks by local Helensburgh artist Lesley Carruthers, Edinburgh-based artist Kate Ive and Glasgow-based artist Chris Coleman-Smith. Each object has its own plinth and carries a combination of text and image that place the exhibit in a historical, cultural and geographic context.
The Nomadic Boulders of John O’Groats are part of the wider regeneration of the Caithness village. The sculpture incorporates boulders that were swept up onto a nearby beach after a storm two years ago. The boulders are suspended on three arcs of bronze, creating a dramatic composition reminiscent of the surrounding landscape.
Alongside the three category winners, White Wood, a living monument to peace, created in response to the centenary of the beginning of the First World War and located in the Bin Forest just outside Huntly received a special commendation from the judging panel.
White Wood symbolically unites nations once at war by bringing together 49 oaks, grown from acorns from Joseph Beuys’ 7,000 Oaks in Kassel, Germany, stones taken from the French battlefields and the Scottish soil of rural Aberdeenshire. Planted alongside the oaks are 700 native trees and 1,000 other native shrubs and wild flowers, all of a white appearance.
The awards ceremony also included the announcement of the winner of the 2016 International Travel Bursary for Visual Arts, supported by British Council Scotland. This year’s winner was Ellis O’Connor, a recent graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee. Ellis plans to use the £1,500 bursary to fund her participation in a four week Arctic Circle Residency Programme around the remote Norwegian Archipelago of Svalbard.
Also announced as part of the ceremony was the winner of the £13,000 Steven Campbell New York Scholarship, made possible through a collaboration between the Saltire Society, the Steven Campbell Trust (founded in memory of renowned Glasgow-born artist Steven Campbell), International Studio and Curatorial Programme (New York) and Creative Scotland. Winner Claire Paterson, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, will take up a three month residency as part of the International Studio and Curatorial Programme (ISPC) in Brooklyn. She will be given dedicated studio space and the unique opportunity to work alongside 45 fellow artists in residence – and becomes the first ever Scottish artist to receive a place at the internationally recognised studio.