In a new collaboration, the artists Robbie Synge, Elizabeth Reeder, and Amanda Thomson, plan to work with local communities and conservationists to explore people’s relationship with landscape in the Cairngorms. They take their inspiration from Cairngorms Connects’ ‘200-year plan’ which Synge refers to as a ‘beautiful, hopeful and pragmatic plan to address biodiversity, habitat restoration and opportunities for people, far beyond our time’.
Alongside their own investigative fieldwork, Synge, Reeder, and Thomson will collaborate with ecologists and volunteers through movement and text workshops. This inclusive residency aims to inspire gestures of hope and possibility and will involve performance, film, writing and other outcomes they hope will be shared locally and internationally.
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 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 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’.