Public Invited to Take Part in Galloway Glens Hydro Scheme Arts Project

Galloway Glens Hydro Scheme Arts Project
Morag, Ted and Jason with the cards

Artists are inviting people from the Galloway Glens to get involved with a project exploring the story of the area’s dams and power stations.

Energise is being carried out by Dumfries and Galloway based internationally-renowned photographers Ted Leeming and Morag Paterson along with Jason Nelson, an artist and lecturer at Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

They are focusing on the past, present and future of renewable, including the legacy and impact of the 1930s hydro schemes.

Members of the public are being invited to drop in and meet the artists at:

  • The Catstrand 3-5pm on Friday, 9 November
  • Dalry Village Hall, Farmers’ Market on Saturday, 10 November 10am to noon.

They can also take part in a workshop from 10am to 12pm on Wednesday, 7 November being run by the Balmaclellan Men’s Shed group at the Smiddy Balmaclellan (please call Brian Jones on 01644 420374 if you would like to attend).

The artists are also placing cards in shops, libraries and public buildings around the Galloway Glens which ask people to write to them with their thoughts and memories about the hydro schemes.

Morag said: “The hydro schemes were vast feats of civil engineering that have had a huge impact of the landscape and the lives of local people over generations.
“We’d really like to hear people’s memories, thoughts and opinions – whether positive or negative – and to see any pictures they have got.
“It could be anything from how their family were involved with the construction projects to the way they use the lochs, rivers, hills and pathways for walking, cycling, fishing, bird watching or any number of activities.
“The drop in sessions are a chance to chat with us directly and the postcards allow people to contact us at their own leisure.”

Once their research is complete the artists will use it to inform artworks that will be on public display next year. As well as talking to the general public the artists will also be involving schools and community groups.

Energise has been set up by Dumfries and Galloway’s Upland Arts Development organisation.

Amy Marletta, Projects Director at Upland Arts Development, said:As the world seeks to combat climate change the importance of renewable energy sources is growing and growing. Energise is a really imaginative way to explore how a huge scheme to provide clean energy has affected communities and the environment over many decades.
“This is a really exciting and positive way for artists to work with communities to look at the issues that affect their lives and the world around us.”

Energise is supported by Creative Scotland and the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership.

McNabb Laurie, Galloway Glens Team Leader said: “The hydro scheme was one of the first of this scale to be built in the world, and still plays an important part in Scotland’s energy mix nearly 100 years on.
“A drop of rain falling at the top of the valley could be used to generate electricity five times as it travels out to sea. The Galloway Glens Scheme is delighted to be able to make a contribution towards this creative project and is excited to see the outputs – particularly how people see the hydro scheme locally and how this might have changed over the years.”

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