Creative Scotland Backs The Enchanted Forest

Over £1.2 million has been invested in thirty-two innovative collaborations between the tourism and culture sectors to promote Scotland’s creativity on a global platform and raise the country’s profile as a tourist destination.

On a visit to the Enchanted Forest near Pitlochry in Perthshire, Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development for Creative Scotland, announced a range of projects, including plans for the renowned visual artists Dalziel + Scullion to introduce a new dimension to the spectacular sound and light show.

Speaking from the Enchanted Forest, Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development for Creative Scotland, said:

‘The Year of Creative Scotland is a chance for us to celebrate and promote Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths at home and on a world stage. These awards will enhance Scotland’s position as a tourist destination to national and international visitors alike and one of the world’s leading creative nations.

‘We are thrilled to make this announcement in the company of renowned visual artists Dalziel + Scullion. The Enchanted Forest already draws in great audiences, attracting over 26,000 visitors in 2011, their work will see even more visitors to this already magical event during 2012 the Year of Creative Scotland.’

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said:

“Through the Year of Creative Scotland, visitors and native Scots are being encouraged to see, experience and contribute to Scotland’s rich culture and heritage.

“The funding streams set up to support the Year ‘s diverse range of cultural activity, are having a remarkable impact on our communities. Supported projects like the introduction of visual art to the Enchanted Forest, are helping to showcase, celebrate and promote Scotland’s cultural strengths on the world stage, to both international and local visitors.

“That is why I announced earlier this month that a further £2.2m would be available for the expansion of this important work – taking the total support for the Year of Creative Scotland to almost £8 million.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:

“One of the main strands behind the Year of Creative Scotland is to introduce new opportunities for visitors to see and experience Scotland’s vibrant culture across all regions. It’s fantastic to see so many great initiatives and festivals across the country benefitting from this funding boost, which we hope will attract even more visitors over the coming months.”

Derek Allan, Creative Director at the Enchanted Forest, said:

“The Highland Perthshire Community Interest Company is very excited at the prospect of working with renowned visual artists Dalzeil and Scullion and to combining their creativity with our award winning designers Simon Wilkinson Lighting Designer and Ronnie Mcconnell Sound Designer and thank Creative Scotland for providing the support to make it happen in our 10th Anniversary Year”’.

Offering up hospitality packages, accommodation deals and promoting other local attractions, creative collaborations reach from the Borders to the Orkney isles. Programme highlights include, Wild at Art, a range of creative holidays around Scotland, with workshops run by local artists and visits to cultural attractions, targeted at overseas visitors. On receiving investment, Ute Johnston, Director of Wild at Art, stated: ‘Creative Scotland’s support will be crucial for getting our project off the ground. It will help us to develop a sustainable business model and contribute to putting Scotland on the map of creative destinations.’

Visitors to Aberdeenshire will experience a new annual crime writing weekend in Haddo House, with talks by national and international crime writers, children’s events, and crime themed tours of Scotland’s castles. The Borders will delight in a community-wide celebration and exploration of the recently discovered Hawick Missal, a rare fragment from a medieval manuscript. The programme will include commissioned choral performances at both Melrose and Jedburgh Abbeys by Scottish and European composers.

In Dundee, Artist Jaygo Bloomn will create an augmented gallery across the city where audiences will be able to navigate the artworks in real time using their smartphones. Glasgow will enjoy a celebration of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. While in Orkney, International contemporary art festival Papay Gyro Nights will develop its successful artist exchange programme and John O’Groats will see the creation of a major permanent artwork.