Practicing Landscape 2: Loch Ossian, March 2018

This practice-led, action-research project was a continuation of Reading Landscape’s first “practicing landscape” trip which took the group to the Cairngorms, Aberdeen, Helmsdale and Orkney in 2015.

Organised and facilitated by artist Lesley Punton, this enabled the group to further engage with planning and developing the group’s aims; to further conversation and dialogue around future projects; and to provide a supportive peer network to discuss research areas of interest.

The fieldwork methodology incorporated production of visual materials/new work, photography, documentation and further work on conference and exhibition planning. Related to the Research Group’s pre-set key themes, members continued the conversation informally addressing research questions:

Q1: How do contemporary art practices engage with (and expand) the theme of Landscape and embodiment? 

Loch Ossian, 12.47pm, 18 March 2018
Nicky Bird

Q2: How can such practices work within the contested terms ‘identity and remoteness’ in relation to specific locations?

Loch Ossian, 12.17pm, 20 March 2018
Nicky Bird

Q3: What is the role of contemporary art in relation to Ecology and sustainability within the Northern Hemisphere?

Untitled, Loch Ossian, March 2018
Lesley Punton

Q4: Which practical and creative frameworks are needed to develop and sustain interdisciplinary relationships between artists and other experts?

Untitled, Loch Ossian, March 2018
Lesley Punton

Q5: What cross-disciplinary practice-led methodologies might emerge in response to Landscape and physical layering of history?

18.30pm, 19 March 2018
Nicky Bird

The project’s Primary Objectives on the field trip to Loch Ossian were to:

1) Develop and plan the strategy for future exhibition and conference (original date March 2019) 

2) Generate material for further research outputs (where relevant)

Lesley Punton in action, Loch Ossian, 09.17am, 20 March 2018
Nicky Bird

3) Continue to provide a supportive peer network to share and discuss landscape based practices

TOP IMAGE: Untitled, Loch Ossian, March 2018, Nicky Bird

Practicing Landscape: A Research Journey, 2015

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Practising Landscape was a practice-led, action-research project undertaken by 10 members of the Reading Landscape Research Group, 1-7 November 2015.

Beginning in Glasgow, the journey passed through the Cairngorms, to Abderdeen, Helmsdale and on to Orkney. The choice of route being, firstly, determined through an extensive mapping exercise based on the Reading Landscape research group members sharing knowledge and divergent research-practice interests in specific sites; and, secondly, for its productive connections to an extended network of artists, anthropologists, curators working cross disciplines within specific locations en route.

57.1836° N, 3.6711° W

Practicing Landscape Research Journey Day 2: Monday 2 November, 2015
A guided walk with artist Lesley Punton, Ryvoan Pass. 

Accompanied by The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd and Landscape or Weather-World? by Tim Ingold.
Voices: Lesley Punton, Sue Brind and Justin Carter. 


The project’s methodology incorporated subject specialist-led seminars with external collaborators, discursive workshops, site visits, production of visual materials, photography, documentation and reflexive curation. Related to the Research Group’s pre-set key themes, GSA project participants led individual seminars and dialogues, according to their own areas of research expertise at various stages of the journey (although all were active participants at all times), addressing the following questions:

-How do contemporary art practices engage with (and expand) the theme of Landscape and embodiment? 

57.1544° N, 2.0783° W


Practicing Landscape Research Journey Day 3: Tuesday 3 November, 2015
Landscape or Weather-World?

On location seminar with Professor Tim Infold, Chair of Social Anthropology, University of Aberdeen.


-How can such practices work within the contested terms ‘identity and remoteness’ in relation to specific locations?

58.1173° N, 3.6535° W

Practicing Landscape Research Journey Day 4: Wednesday 4 November, 2015
Questions of ‘Northness’

Subtitles created from a conversation between Practising Landscape Artists
with Timespan’s Curator Frances Davis and Archive Development Manager Jo Clements.


-What is the role of contemporary art in relation to Ecology and sustainability within the Northern Hemisphere?
-Which practical and creative frameworks are needed to develop and sustain interdisciplinary relationships between artists and other experts?

-How can a Reflexive curatorial process facilitate and help disseminate a mapping of the research journey?

58.9629° N, 3.2983° W

Practicing Landscape Research Journey Day 5: Thursday 5 November, 2015

Andrew Parkinson, Curator of Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, Orkney, discusses the significance of surrounding location, history of the building – the backdrop for its important art collection.

-What cross-disciplinary practice-led methodologies might emerge in response to Landscape and physical layering of history?

59.0015° N, 3.2298° W


Practicing Landscape Research Journey, Day 6: Friday 6 November 2015.

Seminar with Professor Jane Downes, Archaeologist, and Anne Bevan, Artist,
University of the Highlands and Islands at the Ring of Brodgar, Orkney.

A remembered account, written later the same day.

TOP IMAGE: Sue Brind, 2015