We’ve mentioned so many times how the North Highlands of Scotland acts as inspiration for many creative people. Artists, makers, writers and musicians have taken inspiration from our landscape, people, stories and culture and that hasn’t stopped even in the face of a global pandemic. We’re thrilled to see that even though we’re currently unable to travel very far, welcome visitors or touring exhibitions and performances that creativity is still very much alive in the North Highlands of Scotland. Local people businesses and organisations have worked so hard in the last few months to diversify their offerings to help us keep in touch with our creative side.
Since lock down began on 23rd March 2020, we’ve seen the world suddenly become even more reliant on the internet to keep us connected. Connected to friends and family but also to our hobbies and interests.
Instead of visiting the local cinema to enjoy National Theatre Live performances, we’ve been watching on Youtube. Instead of visiting Lyth Arts Centre to watch a live intimate performance, we’ve been completing their ‘Caithness through my window‘ activity book which allows us to admire and celebrate the collaborative efforts of local artists while passing some time in the home classroom. We’ve also been able to continue to support the UK’s most northerly Arts Centre by buying pizza! Yes, you read that correctly. Lyth Arts Centre; Caithness Pizza. Of course we can confirm, the pizza (and brownies) are absolutely delicious! They’re not just a lockdown treat either, Caithness Pizza was available pre covid and we hope, is here to stay!
Many locals in Thurso were looking forward to the third annual Music for MS charity gig which was set to take place in May. Local resident and musician Jack Macphee decided that the show must go on and arranged for the planned acts to perform using the power of facebook live. Attendees watched from the comfort of their homes and the sense of community was overwhelming with the event raising more money in donations to the MS Society than it ever has before.
North Lands Creative, like all other venues, galleries, theatres and studios announced that their 2020 programme of events would not go ahead as planned. Since that announcement, the team have been working hard to diversify the programme and provide an online creative outlet. We were thrilled to learn that they had been successful in securing funding to host a digital film festival. Glass Meet the Future Film Festival showcases 26 artists and 34 films. The festival takes place from 3rd July and comprises of two parts.
Part I Introduces a new wave of creators, devoting a special programme to female glass artists and presents a selection of the world’s contemporary artistic performances and narratives.
Part II features the recent film residency with the premiere of The Soul of a Statue, a specially commissioned short film. The collaborative work of glass artist Martin Janecký and filmmaker Tom Hogben filmed on location in North Lands Creative Alastair Pilkington studio and features the dramatic coastline of Caithness.
You can watch the trailer below and see the programme in full here.
The great thing digital and online creativity is that it allows us to share our talented people, inspiring landscapes and coastlines not just with each other but with the world! Let’s be honest, there’s not been many silver linings to the Coronavirus pandemic but seeing such creative diversification has been one! We’ll be thrilled to have our venues back when it’s safe to return but I expect we’ll see a continuation to build and develop online opportunities to showcase just some of the fantastic work that goes on right here in the North Highlands of Scotland.