A rum do for Scottish artists

Craig Innes from Pixel Spirits and Sarah Holroyd from Holroyd Gallery launch The Scottish Barrel Art Competition 2020.

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Artists based in Scotland are being challenged to come up with a barrel of ideas to celebrate National Rum Day on August 16.

Coinciding with the launch of its Artisan Rum Range Ballachulish-based Pixel Spirits have teamed up with Holroyd Gallery and Loch Leven Hotel to present The Scottish Barrel Art Competition 2020.

Four Scottish artists will been given a decommissioned spirit barrel and a month to turn the unique piece of Scottish distilling heritage and tradition into a thought-provoking work of art. Blending our Scottish love of hand-crafted spirits with our love of art and artisan culture.

Craig Innes of Pixel Spirits said: ‘We had the idea for a barrel art competition way back in April 2019 when we visited Valletta in Malta, their barrel art competition was wine based but sewed a seed in our minds for our rum launch.

‘Being a small craft distillery, it has taken some time to build up enough aged product to release, but we are very excited to do so in August.

‘Lockdown has given us time and energy to re-evaluate what we do, how we do it, and most importantly why we do it, and so paring up with the local Holroyd Gallery and Loch Leven Hotel on this competition was a natural choice.’

The inspiration and theme for the competition is: ‘A Brave New World’ and  artists are invited to tender their suggestion for the competition in writing to: info@pixelspiritsltd.co.uk no later than July 5.

Once suggestions have been reviewed, four finalists, selected by a judging panel, will be notified on the week commencing July 6 and will receive a barrel delivered to them to begin work upon.

The finalists will have until August 9 to complete their work. The barrels will then
be uplifted and taken to the judging panel, with a winner being announced on August 16.

‘We love travel, art and craft spirits, and so coming up with a way we could promote these industries through troubling times made sense to us,’ added Craig.

‘For many, as we gradually ease out of lockdown, ‘luxury’ goods such as a restaurant meal, a hotel stay, a beautiful painting for your home or a Scottish craft spirit might not be within instant reach, and so we hope that our competition allows for not only the artists to benefit long-term but also a collection of Scottish businesses who depend on art and artisan produce to survive.’

The first place recipient of the Scottish Gallery Barrel Art Competition 2020 will receive: An overnight stay at Loch Leven Hotel, a bottle from the first batch of Pixel Spirits’ Artisan Golden Rum and a £50 gift voucher for Holroyd Gallery.

The second place recipient will receive: A dinner for two at Loch Leven Hotel, a bottle from the first batch of Pixel Spirits’ White Rum and a £50 gift voucher for Holroyd Gallery.

Two runners-up will receive a Pixel Spirits’ Gift Bag.

All barrels after completion will be on display at either Holroyd Gallery or Loch Leven Hotel, both based in North Ballachulish, for patrons to enjoy.