An outdoor, Covid-friendly photographic exhibition telling the story of the area’s local community and rich heritage is set to open in the village of Carsphairn on Sunday 27th of June and will be open to the public until the end of September.
Documenting images taken at the Green Well of Scotland of locals from Carsphairn parish in May 2021, this exhibition captures the local community as they emerge from the unprecedented experience of a national lockdown.
The exhibition, which will be mounted outside the Carsphairn Heritage Centre and the Green Well of Scotland, will be captured by professional photographer Alicia Bruce who is part of the National Galleries of Scotland collections.
More than 180 members of the local community have been invited to step forward and be photographed at the site of historic and cultural significance.
The Green Well of Scotland is a well-known historic site sitting next to the river Deugh (Dee) at the foot of Cairnsmore of Carsphairn in Dumfries and Galloway which comprises a 30-foot diameter pool, said to be bottomless.
Historical sources suggest it was visited regularly in times gone by as it was believed its water had healing properties – and locals believe it is one of the Fons Scotiae mentioned in Saint Columba’s biography.
The Green Well of Scotland is situated near the site of Knockengorroch, where the world-renowned greenfield festival takes place each year. Katch Holmes, Knockengorroch’s festival co-producer, is behind this brand-new exhibition.
Having grown up in the community, Katch has first-hand knowledge of the parish and its residents and was delighted to be able to reach out to as many locals as possible to invite them to be a part of this exciting project.
Katch Holmes said: “I am very excited to be working on a project that incorporates the Green Well of Scotland, a place that I have grown up beside and long been fascinated with. I hope that the portraitees enjoy the experience of being immortalised, representing the community during this memorable time in history and being showcased at this cultural site forever in the Carsphairn archives. I also hope that visitors to the region enjoy discovering this very special place.”
Dr Peter Hewitt of Dumfries and Galloway Museums said: “There are few wells that can boast a richer folklore than the Green Well of Scotland. Tucked away in a remote part of Galloway, the well is seemingly ageless and bottomless. Here you will find healing lore, devil lore, stories of witches and avian guardians, lairds, Covenanters and a fugitive ‘alchemist’. Above all the Green Well is a place of beauty, a place where the regions’ cultural memory is stored like a battery.”
Alicia Bruce on the Green Well of Scotland Exhibition said: “I’m looking forward to meeting and photographing the Carsphairn community and representing them through portraiture on this significant site. I hope that through the making of these portraits connections will be strengthened between local residents and this forgotten gem.”
The Green Well Exhibition project incorporates photography, natural environment, historical environment and cultural heritage. The Green Well of Scotland is a site of much interest to archaeologists, historians and walkers both professional and amateur.
Launching on 27th June, the event will instil pride in place and attract attendees from the local community as well as further afield. The exhibition will be an outdoor, Covid-safe event and will remain in place throughout the summer of 2021.
The images generated by the project will be made available to Carsphairn Heritage Initiative for their archives so they may serve as a historical document of a community at an unprecedented time in history.
The project is organised by Knockengorroch Community Interest Company and supported by Dumfries and Galloway Regional Arts Fund and Event Scotland through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund.