Scottish Islands Project Forum

Standing stone, Lewis. Photo: Ruth Little

10-12 December 2011

Our exploration begins in December 2010 with a meeting of 40 artists, scientists, funders, storytellers and cultural leaders at Cove Park on the Rosneath Peninsula north of Glasgow. Here we meet our project partners and discuss the values and aspirations of the expedition and the nature of our engagement with local communities, arts venues and sustainability and heritage organisations. We also shape the expedition itinerary with our programme partners, with the aim of sailing, weather permitting, to Mull, Eigg, Skye, South and North Uist, St Kilda, Lewis, Orkney, Unst (the most northerly of the Shetland/ British Isles), Shetland and the Faroe Islands.

Up to 40 Scottish and international artists are joining the crew in weekly rotations of 10, along with oceanographers, marine biologists and climate scientists, on board marine mammal research vessel Song of the Whale. Our journey includes visits to remote and uninhabited islands, marine conservation areas, pioneering renewable energy projects and active engagement in festivals, community events and other cultural programmes as part of the Scottish government’s year of celebration of island cultures.

Artists are invited to join the expedition through dialogue with our Scottish partners. The aim of the Cape Farewell/Cove Park Scottish Islands Project is to stimulate and support the creation of new works and new collaborations between artists, scientists and community and cultural organisations around the theme of climate change, resource use and resilience across Scotland’s islands.

The expedition generates opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogue, creation and performance in specific and sometimes challenging or fragile environments on both land and sea. These events and explorations are recorded in digital media by sound artists, photographers and filmmakers, and in the works of visual artists, storytellers and musicians. Beyond the expedition we aim to support artists with both financial and physical resources to enable them to continue their research through residencies at Cove Park and on the islands themselves, and to develop new works of music, theatre, storytelling, visual art and dance specifically for the islands with which they have made a connection.
Find out more about the expedition ›