Art projects supported by Open Fund awards

Exploring one of many extraterrestrial rock pools along the Knockvologan coastline. Photograph: Knockvologan Studies.

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Three projects based in Argyll and Bute have received funding in the latest round of Open Fund awards from Creative Scotland.

Appin Community Trading CIC, Mull-based Knockvologan Studies and the Mount Stuart Trust on the Isle of Bute are among 58 projects across Scotland which are sharing more than £1.6 million of National Lottery and Scottish Government funding.

The funds support creative people, projects and organisations across Scotland to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances brought about by Covid-19 and help to sustain creative development at this challenging time.

The Appin community was awarded the grant to fund the production costs of an audio tour of the area ‘Echoes of Appin’ which will enable them to produce an innovative digital app that can be downloaded by visitors onto their devices.

The app will allow visitors to explore different Appin locations through guided
narration, immersive soundscapes, music, interviews and storytelling, bringing
history to life in a way that is imaginative, engaging and fun.

The project is a creative partnership between the trading arm of Appin Community
Development Trust and St Mary’s Space at Fasnacloich.

Penny Cousins, a Board member of the Development Trust said: ‘Appin has a strong story to tell, spanning many centuries.

‘Hearing this story will help visitors understand how the settlement has evolved, its relationship with significant historic events and how the present landscape reflects activities from the past.’

Echoes of Appin is being supported by Appin Historical Society, Furan Gaelic Centre and Mor Media while the grant is being matched by a wide range of volunteer contributions.

Nowhere – Now Here is a 12-month interdisciplinary pilot project run by Knockvologan Studies, a creative research hub founded in 2019 and situated on Mull in a coastal community of crofters, fishermen and newcomers. The project will explore the symbiotic relationship between the arts, the land and its inhabitants and will include residencies, workshops, exhibitions, publications, dialogue, guided tours and wild cooking.

Also among the work supported in Argyll and Bute is a project by the Mount Stuart Trust, which will commission acclaimed Scottish artist Katie Paterson to research and develop a future project, central to which is the climate emergency.

Working with archives, libraries and herbariums of universities and botanic gardens, including Mount Stuart’s own botanical collection, the artist will focus on listing and then gathering images of all the plant species which have become extinct. Collaborators for the future artwork including illustrators, designers and textile artists, will also be identified.

Programme director, Sophie Crichton Stuart said: ‘In this 20th anniversary year of our Contemporary Visual Arts Programme, we are exceedingly grateful to Creative Scotland for their support.

‘It enables us to continue our working relationships with artists looking to the future even in these uncertain times. We are delighted to be working with Katie Paterson on this timely and exciting project and look forward to sharing her research findings.’

A full list of recipients of Open Fund awards is available on the Creative Scotland website along with full eligibility criteria and application guidance. The fund has no deadlines.