Join the dots on Argyll’s Artmap

Kat Robertson's mud art, host one of the many creative forms appearing on this year's Argyll Artmap

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Fans of creativity are being invited to follow the red dots on the trail of this year’s Argyll Artmap.

Now in its 13th year, there are 30 artists and locations open to visitors over two weekends later this month.

The dates are Friday August 21 to Monday August 24, then the following weekend, both from 10am to 5pm, although visitors are advised to ring ahead to check openings for the last two days.

Leonie Charlton and Lucy Gray are collaborating on a project for this year’s Argyll Artmap.
One of Lucy Gray’s sculptures. You can find her at Airds Bay, near Taynuilt.
Louise Oppenheimer has supported Argyll Artmap since it began 13 years ago.
Backwater by Louise Oppenheimer at Kilmichael Glassary.
Kat Robertson’s mobile art hut will be camped in Ardfern in fellow artist Lizzie Rose’s garden during the Argyll Artmap weekends.
Seascape by Rory Campbell-Gibson.

Because of Covid, each space will have its own guidance in place from one-way systems to limits on numbers and visitors are asked to respect those rules to help keep everyone safe.

For the first time, the Artmap includes an artist on Tiree this year with others on the trail from as far north as Glencoe to Kilberry in the south.

Numbered red dots are used to guide visitors to the artists’ studios, including some gardens and Kilmartin Museum giving the region’s creatives a chance to showcase their work.

There is no pressure to buy but the opportunity is available along with the joy of meeting the artist and seeing how the work is made. In many of the studios, visitors will also be able to have a go at some of the techniques.

Among those on the trail are Rory Gibson at Glenfearnoch, near Kimelford, who, when all the jobs are done on the farm, can be found painting in his studio.

He says he can turn out several paintings a day when he is concentrating on his art. From 1973 until 1993, he ran his own picture framing business and fine art gallery in Oban.

It is only in the past fewyears he has spent more time at the easel creating land and seascapes, still life and portraits.

Experienced weaver Louise Oppenheimer is in Kilmartin Glassary, opening up her workshop to callers. She has been exhibiting as part of Artmap since it started in 2007.

‘I’m in it for the long haul. Having visitors is as useful to me as I am to them. It’s great to have fresh eyes look at my work. In this world, where speed is of the essence, the slowing down and mindfulness of weaving has lots going for it. If all the world was weaving it’d be a much happier place. I can’t emphasise that enough,’ she said.

Kat Robertson will be found in her mobile Gaia-hut in fellow artist Lizzie Rose’s beautiful garden in the middle of Ardfern. For spiritually driven Kat, it is all about the the process of creating art as a form of healing rather than the finished beautiful paintings themselves. Inspired by nature, this will be Kat’s second year on the trail.

Nils Aksnes in Tayvallich makes images using a basic type of pinhole box camera while Melanie Chimielewska in Castleton, Lochgilphead, expresses her love of wild swimming and creatures of the ocean in stone carvings.

Oban’s Rockfield Centre and Airds Bay’s Lucy Gray are also on the map. Lucy is showing selected works from a collaborative project with writer Leone Charlton for the first time. ‘Watershed is a conversation between sculpture and poetry inspired by landscape. We explore the exciting edges where the disciplines meet,’ she said.

The artmap exhibition will be launched with an online live stream on Friday August 21.

‘Open studios gives people a rare opportunity to handle some of the sculptures which are designed to be held. Visitors to this venue will also get an opportunity to see the photographic work of Ewan Munro,’ added Lucy.

At Dalmally Railway Station, textile artist Liz Gaffney-Waite has her own dye gardens  and native sheep for the wool she works with.

To find out more, go to artmapargyll.co.uk