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Artists and museums unite to create 'Iconic Places'

15th July 2012

Exciting things are afoot at four Scottish museums as they embark upon projects with acclaimed Scottish artists who will draw inspiration from - and cast a new perspective on - their collections and buildings.

These new creative collaborations are the first to be awarded through Iconic Artists in Iconic Places - a collaborative project by Museums Galleries Scotland and Creative Scotland to celebrate Scotland's icons past and present by enabling artists to be inspired by museum collections, historic sites, and Scotland's intangible cultural heritage, also known as living culture. It allows artists to gain access to collections and the expertise of curators. Part of the Year of Creative Scotland, it is funded by Creative Futures, a Creative Scotland programme of artists' residencies and related activities.

Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life have invited Lanarkshire born artists, including Littlewhitehead, to reinterpret parts of their collection and site to open up a whole new visual dialogue for their visitors, linking the talent, skill and creativity of today with that of the past.

Mackintosh Heritage Group with Scotland Street School Museum will welcome Scotland's Makar, Liz Lochhead who is excited by the prospect of exploring education related artefacts in Glasgow Museum's Archive and Collection. Using her favourite finds from the collection she will run workshops with visitors on creative listening, poetry and creative writing.

National Mining Museum Scotland has appointed award-winning Edinburgh-based film maker, Claire Lamond, to create an animated short film in response to the Lady Victoria Colliery. Lamond will also run workshops with secondary school pupils to introduce them to the art and technology of animation. Her film will be premiered and her creative process revealed, along with work generated by the workshops, in an exhibition set to open at the Museum in December.

This October, Caithness-based fibre artist Joanne B. Kaar will take up a three month post of Artist-in-residence at Caithness Horizons. Taking the herbarium collection of the Thurso baker and naturalist Robert Dick as her inspiration, Kaar will work with curator Joanne Howdle to enhance interpretation of the collection and to create a travelling exhibition of work based on the herbarium. See Joanne B Kaar's web site at

Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:"Scotland's collections offer wonderfully varied sources of inspiration for so many. With the Iconic Artists in Iconic Places programme we wanted to demonstrate that potential by offering funding to museums to forge mutually beneficial links with renowned artists and this aspiration has been achieved as these projects amply demonstrate."

"We are delighted to collaborate with Creative Scotland to forge this opportunity on behalf of the sector as such partnerships form the very heart of the National Strategy for Scotland's museums and galleries."

Venu Dhupa, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland:"We are proud to have invested through our Creative Futures residency programme, in such a creative and mutually beneficial partnership with Museums Galleries Scotland. Exciting partnerships are being developed by bringing Scottish artists and museums together through Iconic Artists in Iconic Places, allowing each to work alongside and become inspired from the other. Another fantastic initiative taking place in this Year of Creative Scotland 2012."

Creative Futures is a Creative Scotland programme of artists' residencies and related activities and is believed to be the largest residency programme in Europe. Museums Galleries Scotland has secured 74K of Creative Futures to run Iconic Artists in Iconic places over two years and applications are now invited for the next round of investment. Details are available from


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