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Artists draw up creative approach for John O’Groats

07 March 2012

Two Scottish artists, with an impressive award winning portfolio of projects from across the UK, have completed a long term artistic plan as part of the regeneration of John O'Groats.

Funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Dalziel + Scullion consulted with local businesses, artists and the community over four months to develop a concept which is rooted in John O'Groats' unique identity.

The artist's ambitious vision was welcomed by local businesses and the community at a meeting in the Seaview Hotel in the village on Thursday February 23.

HIE has been leading the development work at John O'Groats alongside Heritage GB and Natural Retreats, including working with the community to create a masterplan for the regeneration of the area.

HIE is investing £1.8 million into the £6 million Natural Retreats accommodation project, as well as delivering a very successful community art project to mark the start of the transformation of the destination.

In the report, Dalziel + Scullion have identified three key elements to be incorporated within a series of artworks:
- a sense of arrival at a remote and unique destination;
- a sense of John O'Groats as an elemental place in its own right and
- a sense of succession as landscapes and communities adapt to the changes and disruptions that have and continue to challenge them.

The next stage will be to consider options to take the projects forward, including potential sources of funding.

Nick Scroggie from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: "This report indicates the direction of travel we need to take to ensure that John O'Groats has a real sense of place to visitors arriving in and staying in the area as well as helping build on the confidence of the local community.

"This is an exciting time in both the history and the future of Caithness and we would love to see the community, alongside the public and private sectors, getting involved to bring these projects to life and help make them happen."

Matthew Dalziel said: "We've really enjoyed meeting the local community to discuss different ideas for the future artworks at John O'Groats. The key to the art projects is that they address the full scale of the village and its surrounding landscape, from its tiniest insect to its most ancient geology.

"Each work will have its own individual character and role but should also complement and amplify each of the other works. The artworks need to make a positive contribution to the village and one which will leave people with a rich and moving sense of this northerly corner of our mainland."


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