2016 marked the 300th anniversary of the Japanese poet and painter Buson (1716–1783). During the year I ran a renga at the Scottish Poetry Library, gave a talk on Japanese poetry in Scotland at Lauriston Castle, and ran a workshop day for S5 and S6 pupils at Jedburgh Grammar School with the painter Andrew Mackenzie.
Art in Aden
Aden Country Park, Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire. ‘What is a tree?’ is a set of twelve short poems about trees growing in the park, which were presented on botanical labels attached to the trees.
Crailing Community Orchard
Crailing, near Jedburgh, Scottish Borders
A set of 27 three-line poems about varieties of apple and pear trees growing in the orchard, presented on botanical labels attached to the trees.
Come Down the Mile
A 90-minute walk for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with poems about the Canongate and Holyrood areas from the past 500 years by authors including Gavin Douglas, Burns, Dorothy Wordsworth and Victor Hugo, run throughout August.
National Trust for Scotland
Drum Castle and Leith Hall, Aberdeenshire
At Drum Castle I worked with primary school children to write haiku and mesostic poems about the gardens and interiors, which were published in a book; at Leith Hall I worked with secondary school pupils to write poems about the gardens and interiors, which were performed at the house on National Poetry Day.
Zepplins over Cromarty: Fort George and the First World War
Ardersier, near Inverness, with Lorna Irvine
A tour and poetry writing session with primary and secondary school pupils, organised by Historic & Environment Scotland and The Highlanders Museum. (Also run in 2015.)
Curved Stream: eight contemporary artists at Traquair House, Scottish Borders, with Andrew Mackenzie, Paul Keir et al; I presented Dea Silvarum, a poetry walk in the gardens, together with an annotated list of the poems in one of the garden pavilions
The Merkinch Circles, Inverness,
with Mary Bourne.
Phase 2 of River Connections (2014), working with a group of Merkinch residents writing circle poems for stone carvings within the new flood defences
Castle Garden of Water to Beyond: a blog about monthly visits I made to the Japanese Garden, Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh with invited friends during 2014
Falkland Palace Willow Labyrinth: a commission from the National Trust for Scotland for a poem for a bench at the centre of a newly planted labyrinth in the palace orchard, written after walks and workshops with local nursery, primary and secondary school children, and adults
Some Bat-squeak Echo of Other Time:
exploring the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, with staff and visually impaired participants to create ‘a tour guided by fiction’
there were our own there were the others
with Studio Alec Finlay; a series of memorial walks held at National Trust properties in England & Wales to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War
Walking Poets: Wordsworth and Basho
Dove Cottage, Grasmere, Lake District; oranised by the Wordsworth Trust
An exhibition commission which resulted in While yet we may, a book and a set of cards
Out of Books
with Alec Finlay
A series of readings and guided walks in locations visited by Boswell & Johnson on their ‘tour’ of 1773, focusing on books they read, quote from and critique en route
Workshops for primary schools about litter prevention, organised by Falkirk Council Corporate & Neighbourhood Services
Wallflower | Flora Muri
Callendar Park, Falkirk; with the Park Gallery and Studio Alec Finlay
Making a new work for the park with the Park Gallery’s ‘Youth Ambassadors’
Dunbar Harbour, East Lothian
‘Sixteens’ made for and exhibited in the Beach Hut
A public art commission on the theme of coal mining in Mayfield, Midlothian; for Melville Housing, with Susheila Jamieson and Lawfield Primary School
Shadows of our Ancestors 2012: Seven Hills
Edinburgh; organised by Historic Scotland
Walks and poems linking Edinburgh and the Antonine Wall for an event on World Heritage Day
Bolton; with ~in the fields
Writing texts relating to the town’s industrial heritage (spinning and weaving) as part of a public art commission for this new education, leisure and health centre