Cairngorms Connect Artist Residency

Robbie Synge, Elizabeth Reeder and Amanda Thomson

In a new collaboration, the artists Robbie Synge, Elizabeth Reeder, and Amanda Thomson, are working with local communities and conservationists to explore people’s relationship with landscape in the Cairngorms, Scotland.

The breadth of the Cairngorms Connects’ restoration work and its ‘200-year plan’ has prompted a responsive approach from the artists, who are using this opportunity to explore their environment from different perspectives. Their focus is on processes, methods of engagement, of gathering, learning about place, and asking questions around sharing landscape.

During the residency the artists will be using infrared motion sensor cameras, exploring high peatland restoration sites and accompanying workers and volunteers as they go about their practical fieldwork, including moth-trapping, collecting seeds and willow planting.

Alongside their own investigative fieldwork, the artists are collaborating with ecologists, volunteers and school children through a range of sensory, photography, and writing workshops to creatively explore different perspectives within Abernethy Forest and its environs. Whilst being independent makers with three distinct practices, their work interweaves and will come together over this time to form a body of new work to include performances, exhibitions, events and prints over the coming year.

This project has been established through the Endangered Landscapes Artist Residencies and Arts Prize – a collaboration between the Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme and the CCI Arts, Science and Conservation Programme.


About the artists

Robbie Synge

Robbie Synge

Robbie Synge works with physical movement and interactions between people and materials, with collaborators of diverse backgrounds and interests and presenting in theatres, galleries and outdoor spaces. Recent work includes short film ‘Forest Floor’ (2019) shot in Abernethy Forest with collaborator Julie Cleves, exploring landscape access challenges. Synge has worked with, amongst others, the BBC, LUX Scotland and Siobhan Davies Dance.

Elizabeth Reeder

Elizabeth Reeder

Elizabeth Reeder is a writer whose novel ‘An Archive of Happiness’, was longlisted for the Highland Book Prize (2021). Her work explores ideas of identity, community, home and place. She runs workshops on a range of subjects and is a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow.

Amanda Thomson

Amanda Thomson

Amanda Thomson is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. Her artwork and creative non-fiction are often about the Highlands and notions of home, movements, migrations, landscapes and the natural world. Her doctoral studies included fieldwork with the RSPB in Abernethy Forest. She lectures at Glasgow School of Art and is author of ‘A Scots Dictionary of Nature’.

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