Eight new projects supported by Scottish Arts Council Public Art Fund

Scottish Arts Council,
28 April 2009, Scotland

Public art projects to be developed in locations throughout Scotland have been given a boost today (Tuesday 28 April) thanks to funding from the Scottish Arts Council’s new Public Art Fund.

A total of £466k of National Lottery funds have been allocated to the projects which will investigate the possibilities for public art within beaches, woodland, schools, parks and a library, and include practice such as dance, performance, music and film along with visual arts.

From waterfronts to wilderness the Scottish landscape is the canvas for these new art projects which include an exploration of the history of the area around St Peters Seminary in Cardross, addressing the historical absence of women in the civic landscape and a celebration of Halloween in woodland around Huntly, Aberdeenshire. 

In many cases this new funding supports projects at their emergent stage, supporting research and development to place public art and community engagement at the heart of new regeneration projects and working with masterplanners to contribute to design development.

The projects are funded through the Scottish Arts Council Public Art Fund which is underpinned by the Council’s Public Art Plan, published in 2008.  The Scottish Arts Council adopt a broad definition of public art and have a specific emphasis on community engagement.

Commenting on the Projects Karen Ward Boyd, Senior Lottery Officer said:

‘Our vision for Public Art in Scotland is ambitious; developing this area will take time as we want to explore the many exciting possibilities that public art can bring to communities throughout Scotland.

Ultimately we want to create a vibrant environment for the people of Scotland to live in and each of these eight projects seek to fulfil this aim in their own unique and creative ways.’ 

The eight successful projects are:

Dudendance (Huntly Aberdeenshire)

Dudendance’s project ‘Into the Wild’ will be a process based cross-generational public art project exploring the importance of ‘wilderness’ in the collective imagination.

This 18 month project will bring together a team of artists with the local community to develop this significant site-specific multi media performance which will take place in the Battlehill Woods and during Halloween in Huntly 2010.

NVA (Europe) Ltd (St Peter’s Seminary and Kilmahew woodlands, Cardross)

Glasgow based environmental arts company NVA will create a radical and varied commissioning strategy as part of the redevelopment of St Peter’s Seminary and the surrounding Kilmahew woodlands in Cardross. NVA have been working closely with property developers, Urban Splash, and the plan aims to work closely with diverse community and interest groups to inform, inspire and motivate a rich portfolio of artistic responses to the site.

The Common Guild with The Lighthouse (Glasgow)

This project seeks to inject new life into Glasgow’s parks through the use of public art and architecture.  ‘Project for Parks’ is an ambitious and significant collaboration between The Common Guild and The Lighthouse working with acclaimed visual artist Phil Collins and architects Caruso St John to create the first in a series of new, temporary structures in urban parkland and programmes of events to take place within them.

Project BluePrint (Angus Council Schools)

This project seeks to develop a public art model for schools and educational establishments across Angus with the aim of producing an exemplary working model or blueprint which can be used to determine how new or existing school buildings can best become an active place for learning within a creative context.

North Edinburgh Arts (Muirhouse, Edinburgh)

North Edinburgh Arts, which is situated within the Muirhouse area of Edinburgh, will use this funding to engage creatively and promote public art within the context of the rapid development and regeneration of the neighbourhoods.  The project will engage with masterplanners and other key stakeholders to ensure that artists are brought into the multi-disciplinary teams to comment upon and add to the design process and assist in developing community engagement.

Glasgow Women’s Library (Glasgow)

This project entitled ‘Making Space’ will enable Glasgow Women’s Library to undertake research and test ideas  to develop a brief for a proposed new public artwork that will link to the Library’s future new home within the Mitchell Library in Glasgow city centre.

Engaging with a diverse community of women, the project has its origins in a broadly articulated need to address women’s historical absence in the civic landscape

Deveron Arts (Huntly, Aberdeenshire)

'The Town is the Venue' programme will include 6 new public art commissions in public ‘found’ spaces in the rural locality of Huntly. The Town is the Venue letting the artists find a site within – not only the location – but also the community, the urban setting is read, interpreted and transformed by the artist.

Big Things on the Beach (Portobello, Edinburgh)

Big Things on the Beach will develop a public art plan for Portobello Promenade, the project will involve the communities of Portobello and Craigmillar working with the local authority to develop a plan to be implemented by the City of Edinburgh Council as part of the first stage of its Waterfront Promenade Project 2009-13.