Our Loch Lomond reserve is an amazing place for wildlife and a great place to visit to feel inspired by the natural world. Since the beginning of the year Susannah Ramsay has been an artist in residence at the reserve. Find out why she was drawn to Loch Lomond and the work that has come from her time spent there, including a special event taking place later this month.
The Essence of Place: An outdoor audiovisual installation
The Essence of Place is the first of my site-specific projects for my practice-based doctoral research. This opportunity came about via the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities open call for artist residencies. The genesis of the project takes inspiration from my interest in working with nature and the landscape as experiential material sources. I was familiar with the surrounding landscape of Loch Lomond, prior to this residency.
However, I was drawn specifically to the RSPB Scotland nature reserve as it provided me with a wide variety of flora and fauna to capture on film—including birds (especially the promise of seeing Greenland white-fronted geese), deer, butterflies and wildflowers, many of which are incorporated in the filmpoem. The poem itself, which was actually written and recorded in the area adjacent to net bay, was inspired by what I experienced when I was present in the landscape of the reserve. I wanted to try and harness what being in the landscape meant in terms of contemplation and why there is an urge in many of us to return to certain places that prompt memories and thought. This poem is a way of exploring these thoughts.
Filming took place between December 2016 and August 2017 and included many early morning starts to film the sunrise and geese. These cold winter mornings were bracing and the late spring afternoons were warm and peaceful. The rationale behind the outdoor installation itself was primarily to include the actual landscape and environment in the whole viewing experience. The structure for the screen has been constructed by artist Hugh Watt, and myself. On the night of the event, it will be really exciting to hear the soundscapes and see the giant images of the reserve lit up in total darkness.
To find out more about the open-air candle lit screening of The Essence of Place happening on Saturday 21 October and how to get tickets to it click here.
I'm doing a research on the gender specific influences of environmentalists and meteorologists who work with schools in the UK. Some of the female authors shared their feedback about Women Scholars: Navigating the Doctoral Journey book that helped me do my essay today. In a school environment, the atmosphere is generally productive for students and teachers too.
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