Natural Bennachie

Scottish Sculpture Workshop would like to announce the upcoming project Natural Bennachie, funded by Creative Scotland as part of the 2013 Year of Natural Scotland.

Natural Bennachie will see three artists collaborating with partners and the local community in exploring the natural heritage of the most prominent landmark in the North East of Scotland. The project will culminate in an eco-friendly public celebration, site-specific artworks and art-science collaborations. Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW) will lead the project in conjunction with The Bailies of Bennachie, Forestry Commission Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service and the University of Aberdeen.


The Year Of Natural Scotland is the perfect opportunity to celebrate our landscape, our history and our culture. Natural Bennachie brings together multi-media artists to work alongside specialists in the fields of archaeological and environmental sciences in order to better understand the heritage and oral histories surrounding our natural landscape. This project also supports a soil analysis investigation of Bennachie, which will be able to give us new insights into Bennachies’ past.

The three commissions are currently open for submission  – please visit for more details. 

“Natural Bennachie will contribute important information and enhance our understanding of the environmental changes that have occurred on Bennachie since the last Ice Age. In this way it will support the Bennachie Landscapes project and help to interpret a wealth of newly discovered research data in an exciting, community-oriented artistic fashion. By these means the traditional divides between the arts and sciences may be breached and new discoveries made accessible to all members of the community via the SSW artists.”

Colin Shepherd – Co-ordinator Bennachie Landscapes, Bailies of Bennachie

“For many years Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service helped visitors explore the fascinating social and natural history of Bennachie. This exciting project will give us the chance to work with our local communities and visitors to explore this unique landscape and its cultural and natural heritage by sharing the skills of the project artists with the expert knowledge of the Ranger Service.”

Fiona Banks – Ranger Service Co-ordinator


“A specific area of enquiry for SSW over the next two years includes Land – understanding the world around SSW – its geological structure, ecology and uses, ranging from farming, forestry, and fishing to leisure, tourism and energy extraction. How is the land viewed, organised and managed? We look forward to exploring how these new collaborations within the Natural Bennachie project can inform us about our contemporary and future environment.”

Emily Wyndham Gray, Curator of Facilities and Programmes, SSW


“Forestry Commission Scotland are looking forward to working with SSW, the artists and of course all the visitors to Bennachie who we know will want to be very actively involved in this exciting project. There is always so much going on at Bennachie, and this project will be a great way to highlight and bring people together to look at the many things that are special about Bennachie in a new way.”

Calum Murray, Communities, Recreation & Tourism Manager, Forestry Commission Scotland

Throughout the summer SSW will be presenting a host of public events including outdoor workshops, activities and events based on and around the Bennachie range, public exhibitions in the Aberdeen University campus, in beautiful Old Aberdeen, and site-specific sculptural works on Bennachie itself. There will also be a series of school workshops as well as film screenings showcasing documentaries made over the course of the project.

To keep up-to-date about opportunities, learn how to get involved, find out about future events or for more information about the Natural Bennachie project, visit: This project is made possible with funding and support from Creative Scotland in conjunction with

Scottish Natural Heritage, the Bailies of Bennachie, Forestry Commission Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service and the University of Aberdeen.


For more information please contact Emily Wyndnam Gray –, 01464 861372


Bailies of Bennachie: This is a voluntary charity formed in 1973, and will be 40 years old this year. The Bailies have over 3000 members who are interested in Bennachie. During the past 40 years, The Bailies have been involved in many different activities and projects. The Bailies have instigated the Bennachie Landscape Project, and other activities include: on the hill – footpath maintenance and creation, footpath surveillance, recording of indicators and archaeology; off the hill – committee work, helping at the Bennachie Centre, collecting information about the hill, voice recordings of people with memories of the hill, events such as Doric Night, Annual Rally/Picnic, archival research, production of Bennachie books, website. Please see or contact Senior Bailie of Bennachie Jackie Cumberbirch, 07799 658209 for more information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s