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Community to shape unique nature of John O'Groats

01 December 2011

Two Scottish artists, with an impressive award winning portfolio of projects from across the UK, are to consult with the John O'Groats community to deliver a long term artistic plan for the village's redevelopment.

Working on projects like Great Glen House which is the SNH headquarters in Inverness, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow and the Science Museum in London, Dalziel + Scullion have established an international reputation as environmental artists.

Funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), their work in Caithness will be to consult with local people and visitors to develop a unique concept which will create a strong feeling of 'place' for John O'Groats.

Matthew Dalziel said: "We are very interested in how artworks and art concepts can help regenerate and revitalise areas aiding the development of sustainable local communities, as well as nurturing relationships with the land and wider ecology. We look at the resources places have at their disposal, which could be physical attributes like mountains or beaches, or less tangible features like customs and ideas and use these to create artworks or objects that encapsulate iconic images that can play a substantial role in supporting a place as a location or destination."

HIE has been leading the development work at John O'Groats, including working with the community to create a masterplan for its regeneration, investing £1.8 million into the £6 million Heritage Great Britain and Natural Retreats redevelopment project, and delivering a very successful community art project to mark the start of the rejuvenation.

During this next stage of work, Dalziel and Scullion will work closely with all the interested parties to consider what additional impact art can bring to the development, including ideas for the iconic start and finish point.

HIE's Nick Scroggie, commented: "Dalziel and Scullion have won a number of awards for their work in art and architecture and we are delighted they are leading this phase of John O'Groats development. The masterplan which HIE produced was created in consultation with the community and visitors who live, visit and work at John O'Groats. We also want to ensure that the finished destination offers a real sense of place and that the quality of design will bring people here longer and to visit again and again.'

Speaking on the artistic plans, Natural Retreats CEO Matt Spence said, "We are delighted to support the consultation as it fits with Natural Retreats sustainable values and further reflects our initiative to support the local community. We want to embrace and fully support art projects such as this, that will help bring John O'Groats back to a landmark tourism destination."

  • The first of the community meetings takes place on December 14 2011.
  • Find out more about all of the developments taking place on our John O'Groats page
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