In these strange and difficult times where we are in lockdown and unable to travel or enjoy exhibitions and events, you may feel in need of a dose of Scotland and creative inspiration. I’ve started curating collections of resources you might be interested in. This page is a work in progress and I’ll add to them as I go along – if you know of an interesting resource Scotland-loving creatives might enjoy please drop me a line.
Projectroom 2020 – funded by Art North magazine, Projectroom2020.org is a collaborative online gallery project devised to support artists in Scotland in showing work during the public health crisis: https://projectroom2020.org/
Explore the collections of the Scottish National Galleries – you can explore and search the collections of the Scottish National Gallery, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Modern One, Modern Two, Duff House, Paxton House, and even works that are in storage: https://www.nationalgalleries.org/
The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) of Arts and Architecture‘s annual exhibition will soon be available online here: https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/
Edinburgh University’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology offers an online exhibition: Artisans And Craft-Production In Nineteenth-Century Scotland. It is themed in five sections; Handmade and Design, Vernacular and Place, Portraits, Workshops, and Trades and Communities: https://www.ed.ac.uk/history-classics-archaeology/history/news-events/news-and-events-archive/news-events-2016/online-exhibition
An Talla Solais Gallery in Ullapool has opened an exhibition Landscape of Place. The central theme of the exhibition is the discourse between the landscape of the north of Scotland and the experience of being both part of it and at one within it, giving rise to a sense of place within the world: https://www.antallasolais.org/landscape-of-place-online-exhibition
National Museums Scotland -Experience the treasures of four National Museums Scotland from your own home via the Google Arts and Culture programme, which offers you the chance to see more than 20,000 historic objects at National Museum of Scotland, National Museum of Flight, National War Museum and the National Museum of Rural Life: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/national-museum-of-scotland
Art in Healthcare does is provides top quality curated Scottish and Scotland-themed artworks for display in hospitals and other healthcare settings. The Art in Healthcare Collection is extensive and can be explored online: https://www.artinhealthcare.org.uk/collection.php
Nevis Ensemble – Some of you might already have happened to enjoy impromptu performances by members of this energetic street orchestra on your travels in Scotland. The Nevis Ensemble have made it their mission to make music accessible for everyone, everywhere. They have several projects on the go to bring music to people in lockdown all over the world: https://nevisensemble.org/
Scotland Online – Livestream events featuring Scotland’s thriving traditional arts: https://scotlandonline.org/
Finding gigs via Twitter – there are some incredible online gigs going on. You can follow along with hashtags like #COVIDceilidh and #scotlandsbigsession on Twitter for details of many of them. https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVIDCeilidh?src=hashtag_click / https://twitter.com/hashtag/scotlandsbigsession?src=hashtag_click
Scotpodcast – explore a wealth of traditional music gems on this podcast series. The tunes are all free to listen to but you’ll get the chance to support the Scottish traditional music scene: https://projects.handsupfortrad.scot/scotpodcast/.
Chamber Music Scotland did a series of #StreamingHomeConcerts which you can watch on their YouTube channel. Follow Chamber Music Scotland on Twitter for details of how to tune into future shows! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXK4x-mr11oOR7kptn7o4Pw https://twitter.com/chambermusicsct/status/1243117561115561984
Live Music Now Scotland supports talented young professional musicians in performing/training opportunities while taking inspirational live music experiences to a wide audience: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCegFmstasVO3Sel-p5hk7aw/videos
And, of course, Runrig’s Loch Lomond
Dovecot studio – you can take a virtual tour of this world-renowned tapestry studio in Edinburgh: https://dovecotstudios.com/visit/tour
The making of Harris Tweed:
BBC Coast: Harris Tweed – excerpt from a programme on Harris Tweed:
Watercolour sketching demo with Leo du Feu – Wild at Art tutor Leo du Feu also works for Art in Healthcare in Edinburgh. ROOM FOR ART is a series of visual arts workshops delivered by artists throughout Edinburgh using a social prescribing approach and occupational therapy supported model of 1:1s. In this 30 min video he explains the basics of watercolour sketching and talks about his approach. Grab a coffee and enjoy the video! (Leo is the tutor for our Magical Orkney art experience in September 2021):
Painting eggs and birds in watercolour – not just for Easter! – Wild at Art tutor Leo du Feu encourages you to appreciate the beauty of bird eggs and explore their patterns through some simple exercises: https://landscapeartnaturebirds.blogspot.com/2020/04/art-idea-easter-eggs-birds.html
Art in the Time of Self-Quarantine – A Sketch A Day. A few of our wonderful Wild at Art customers – and now friends – in the US and Canada have set up a Facebook group for sharing the artwork they’re producing during lockdown. The group is private but they welcome new members. You can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/208000227277211/
Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work – “You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.” https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/04/15/louise-bourgeois-solitude/
Isolation Art School – check out this Instagram initiative for free lessons, projects and tips on getting creative: https://www.instagram.com/isolationartschool/
Scenes for Survival – short digital artworks created by leading Scottish theatre and screen talent. Created by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with Scotland’s leading theatre venues and companies: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08d89xn (not sure if the link will work outside the UK…?)
This is Scotland!: https://youtu.be/FlG6tbYaA88
See Scotland’s islands from above:
A guide to the weather in Scotland:
Orkney – beautiful all year round:
Orkney visitor guide – a selection of visitor guides and information leaflets about the islands: https://www.orkney.com/plan/visitor-guides
Discover Stromness, the base location for our Orkney art experiences:
Orkney archaeology – at the site of a colossal complex that predates Stonehenge, archaeologists have discovered Neolithic art, pottery, and several carved stones that are extremely rare:
The magical isle of Iona by drone:
Lewis Trilogy – if you are looking for reading material about Lewis & Harris in the Outer Hebrides check out Peter May’s crime novels set in the islands: Blackhouse / Lewis Man / Chessmen: https://www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk/see-and-do/culture-and-heritage/peter-may-lewis-trilogy
Another book we can recommend is Madeleine Bunting’s Love of Country. You can find a review here.
Mackintosh at the Willow – for Mackintosh fans Willow Tea Rooms have published a series of blogposts telling some of the history around the life and art of Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh and Charles Rennie Mackintosh: https://www.mackintoshatthewillow.com/blog/
Scottish Storytelling Centre – listen to some ancient tales. The page also includes a link to their YouTube channel: https://tracscotland.org/resources/scotlands-stories-online-teaching-resource/
CeltScot Videos – a YouTube channel where you can find music, storytelling , lectures and more related to Celtic and Scottish Studies: https://www.youtube.com/user/CeltScotVideos/featured
Scottish Gaelic language explained:
How to wear an 18th century plaid properly 🙂
Scotlands Places – this archive site lets you search three national databases to access historical resources relating to places throughout Scotland: https://scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/
Historic Scotland audio guides – Historic Scotland are making a series of audio guides available, which can be enjoyed via the web, with no need for downloading. Be transported back to court life at Stirling Castle, hear the familiar voices of Ian Rankin, George RR Martin and Saoirse Ronan at Edinburgh Castle, explore Iona Abbey or listen to the beautiful voices of Glasgow Cathedral’s choir: access audio guides here
Look inside the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and see some of their staff’s favourite features:
Take a virtual tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland: https://www.royal.uk/virtual-tours-palace-holyroodhouse
Snippet about Falkland Palace‘s sunken treasure:
So…dream about Scotland now and travel later 🙂
Last Updated: 15/06/2020
On 10 June 2020, the Scottish Government announced a provisional date for the re-opening of the Scottish tourism sector: 15 July 2020. Businesses are encouraged to prepare to open their doors and welcome guests from then onwards.
However, the UK currently requires every resident and visitor travelling to the UK (i.e. crossing the UK border) to self-isolate for 14 days. Refusing to do so could incur significant fees. The end date for the quarantine rule isn’t known yet, we expect it to be later this summer.
That means that even though travel restrictions within Scotland will be relaxed, for now this only affects those who are already in the UK.
It will take more time to re-open the tourism sector for international visitors.
We will update this page as things change, including updates on measures we and our suppliers will have in place to keep you safe once we can run art experiences again.
At the moment the safest place to be is at home. However, over time restrictions will be lifted and we will long to travel again. Once we are able to run art experiences again your safety will be our priority so you can enjoy your trip without worries. This means we will work with our accommodation, transport and other partners to make adjustments at a practical level, guided by government guidance but also by our desire to look after our guests in the best possible way.
Details on specific measures will be included on this page.
The tourism sector as a whole is encouraging all operators to offer their customers full credit notes for trips affected by Coronavirus restrictions. This is because it is very well understood that the majority of the tourism businesses themselves don’t have enough resources to be able to offer blanket refunds to everyone. Being a small, personal business we certainly fall into this category and have decided, in line with guidance, to offer all our guests affected by coronavirus disruption a full credit note towards a future booking.
If your trip cannot go ahead please have a think about when you might like to travel next year instead. Get in touch with us via email on email@example.com to let us know and we will get you booked in. At least it will be nice to know you have an inspiring creative experience in Scotland to look forward to for when this strange and worrying period is over.
We understand that in these uncertain times flexibility is key when making any travel plans for the future and we want to make sure our guests can book with confidence.
Therefore all bookings made from now until 31 December 2020 have additional flexibility in that you can move your booking up until 10 weeks before departure to any future date within 24 months of your original holiday date.
All other terms and conditions remain the same- click here for more information.
I’m very pleased to introduce you to the latest addition to the Wild at Art management team: Islay, a rescue dog from Bosnia. We don’t know much about the story so far other than she was rescued from a dog catcher kennel. She’s the most delightful, gentle and friendly dog and has settled extremely well in her new home in Scotland. Whenever possible, Islay will accompany me on art experiences and she might even pose as a model for guests :).
Naturally, there has been a lot of media attention on Brexit and you might be wondering what it means for your travel planning. We’ve done our research and want to give you peace of mind regarding our art experiences in Scotland.
These are the main points: in summary:
Deal or no deal, you’ll be able to enter the UK without a visa if you’re a citizen of any other EU or EEA country, or Switzerland.
For US visitors to Scotland and the UK, there has been no change and there will be no change to the current no visa arrangement for UK citizens arriving for stays of less than 90 days. The important thing is that your passport is still valid for at least six months at the time of arrival.
For arrivals from other countries there won’t be any changes either – use the visa checker to find out if you need a visa.
There is no talk of disruption to flights to the UK and the EU has specifically agreed that there would be no change to any flight rules until 2021 at the earliest. Even if there was a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU. The UK government has offered similar assurances for EU airlines.
All payments you have made to Wild at Art are protected through our Travel Vault membership. In addition, it is important that you have adequate travel insurance which covers your specific needs, including any known medical conditions or activities you plan to do. It is also worth checking the detail of the policy around travel disruption including delays or cancellations as policies do vary.
When travelling in Scotland it’s almost impossible not to be touched by our rich history. Those with some historical knowledge may have heard of the Declaration of Arbroath*, which is one of Scotland’s most important historical documents, capturing a powerful call for the recognition of the Kingdom of Scotland’s sovereign independence.
The Declaration is a letter dated 6 April 1320, written by the barons and and freeholders of Scotland, on behalf of the Kingdom of Scotland, to Pope John XXII asking him to recognise Scotland’s independence and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king.
The letter also asks the Pontiff to persuade King Edward II of England to end hostilities against the Scots, so that their energy may be better used to secure other frontiers.
The Declaration was probably drawn up at Arbroath Abbey. Written in Latin, it was sealed by eight earls and about forty barons. It was authenticated by seals, as documents at that time were not signed. Only 19 seals now remain.
We like to link up our creative experiences with local, real life things happening around us. Our Hidden Treasures Art Retreat with Arbroath-based Scottish painter Kate Cunningham and guest tutors will take place in Arbroath 3-10 April 2020 – not quite at Arbroath Abbey but nearby at the charming Rosely Country House. So, we’ll have the opportunity to celebrate the Declaration’s 700th anniversary in its place of origin during our retreat – how cool is that! The anniversary will be marked with the Arbroath 2020 programme of events and activities to engage and inspire through the story of the Declaration. I’m curious to see how the festivities inspire the artistic interpretation of this historic location on the Scottish east coast.
Also, the declaration document will be displayed within the Scotland galleries of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh from 27 March to 26 April 2020. Why not add a day in Edinburgh before or after the retreat to see the real thing? 🙂
* Image of declaration document copyright National Records Scotland
Travelling in general is a form of personal development. Creative travel takes the experience to another, and more enriching level.
We’re absolutely delighted that Wild at Art made it into the Best of Celtic Life International! Read the story here (you’ll find a link to the full version of the magazine at the bottom of the page):
To read the magazine click here.