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The Art of Farming New Artists

The Art of Farming New Artists

The Art of Farming New Artists

The Art of Farming New Artists

The Art of Farming New Artists
The Art of Farming New Artists

The Art of Farming, launched last August, is an innovative public art programme which seeks to raise awareness of mental health issues in the agricultural community, and explore positive ways to improve farmers’ health and work-life balance through creative engagement.

Developed by Live Life Aberdeenshire’s Cultural Engagement team in partnership with Aberdeenshire’s farming community, National Farmers Union of Scotland and Robert Gordon University, the project’s first phase, led by Nic Green, saw Raku pottery workshops delivered in a barn, and tile making at the Spring Show at Thainstone Mart, Inverurie.

Engagement with participants led to a diverse mix of images on tiles inspired by farming and the landscape, and pots with textures reflecting barley and even the soil itself. Participants discovered creative skills they had claimed did not exist and worked happily with each other offering words of encouragement and sharing ideas and stories.

Picking up from where Nic Green left off, Live Life Aberdeenshire is delighted to announce the appointment of artists, Mary Bourne and Lynne Strachan to lead and develop “The Art of Farming” over the next year.

Mary and Lynne both grew up in and continue to be based in the North East of Scotland. They have many years experience of working on engagement projects and creating place-specific artworks for public places. They have worked in Aberdeenshire on multiple occasions both singly and together and share a fascination with the way people and their stories inhabit a place, and by the way making things both benefits the maker and communicates with people who encounter the made object.

Live Life Aberdeenshire Cultural Development Officer, Sheila Waterhouse, secured funding from Creative Scotland, National Lottery Community Fund and Aberdeenshire Council’s Developer Obligations for this important and innovative project.

Left: Lynn Strachan. Right: Mary Bourne.

Left: Mary Bourne. Right: Lynn Strachan.

She said: “I am thrilled that Mary and Lynne are to lead us in this next phase of the project.

They bring a wealth of past and developing experience of working with rural communities, most recently with local farming communities in the Cabrach, where many of the stories explored and revealed have great synergies with the issues experienced today”.

She added “Engagement in, and interpretation through the arts is known to build meaningful social connections, to the benefit of both artist and participant. Through growing understanding, Mary and Lynne have been developing a flexible approach to engagement that works well with the work/life balance challenges that the farming community experiences, which I know they will bring, along with their many and varied creative skills, to The Art of Farming”.

Activities kick off in July and both artists are looking forward to meeting members of the farming community over the coming year and co-creating a body of work with those who wish to get involved.

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