Artist captures the essence of Glen Scotia spirit

Artist Alice Angus is creating a series of artworks showcasing Glen Scotia Distillery and Campbeltown.
Artist Alice Angus is creating a series of artworks showcasing Glen Scotia Distillery and Campbeltown.

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Glen Scotia Distillery has partnered with a Scottish artist to capture the essence of its awarding-winning whisky and its town.

Glasgow School of Art graduate Alice Angus will create a series of artworks showcasing the distillery and its place in the community that will be shown at this year’s Campbeltown Malts Festival, which takes place from May 24-26.

Since January, Ayrshire-born Alice has spent days drawing in the distillery and around Campbeltown absorbing its spirit and taking inspiration for her final four works commissioned by Glen Scotia, which was crowned Distillery of the Year at the Scottish Whisky Awards 2021.

The Spirits Safe exhibition, which will be unveiled on May 25 and free to enter, will pay homage to the town’s legacy in keeping the precious liquid under its care, and artistically bring to life the knowledge, engineering and ingredients involved in the creation of the ‘golden spirit’ that matures in Glen Scotia’s warehouses.

It will also uncover aspects of the heritage, people, landscape and wildlife of Campbeltown and celebrate the renaissance of the town on the international whisky-production map.

Spirit Safe will be exhibited around Glen Scotia’s distillery, with accompanying plaques sharing insights from Alice’s unearthing of the area.

Alice will also attend the event to share tales of her adventures in the town with the hundreds of visitors who make the trip every year.

‘I am interested in the social, cultural, natural histories and heritage of places with a particular fascination in landscape and environment,’ she said.

‘Combining my love for Scotland and my interest in the intricacies of whisky production, the partnership with Glen Scotia is completely fitting.

‘I’ve been given the warmest welcome at Glen Scotia and been allowed to spend a lot of time drawing in the distillery, observing the everyday workings, sounds and smells, studying the artistry and dedication of the team that work there and marvelling at the combination of ingredients, chemistry, engineering, craft and knowledge that is involved in whisky production.

‘I’ve spent time drawing in the town, on the harbour and bay as winter changed into spring; in all weathers. I have been inspired by the people, wildlife and surroundings I have encountered.

‘I’m excited to unveil my work at the Campbeltown Malts Festival later this year and hope to meet visitors and hear their stories about the distillery and the town.’

Like whisky production, Alice’s technique involves patience, time and experimentation.

She uses pencil, watercolour and ink to draw from life, spending a long time observing her surroundings through sight, sound, smell and touch, often waiting for the right moment, drawing similarities with the time and craftsmanship required in whisky-making.

Glasgow School of Art graduate Alice Angus has spent days drawing in the distillery, absorbing its spirit and taking inspiration for her final artworks.
Glasgow School of Art graduate Alice Angus has spent days drawing in the distillery, absorbing its spirit and taking inspiration for her final artworks.

The Spirit Safe exhibition will be on show for the run of the malts festival before being displayed at the distillery until early June.

Glen Scotia also has plans to produce a small batch of limited-edition bottles on which Alice’s artwork will be printed as a lasting commemoration of the event and partnership, with liquid information and a date for release due to be unveiled soon.

Launched in 2008, the Campbeltown Malts Festival is a three-day celebration of the region known as the Victorian Whisky Capital of the World due to its illustrious past and the role whisky-making has played in the town for centuries.

Glen Scotia’s full programme of events is available to view via its website at www.glenscotia.com and includes a host of experiences centred around its drams.

These include exclusive distillery tours, dunnage tastings and delicious food and whisky pairing sessions led by master distiller and distillery manager Iain McAlister and the distillery team, alongside whisky writers Charles Maclean and Becky Paskin.

‘The Campbeltown Malts Festival is a fantastic opportunity for us to highlight what makes the town and our distillery such a remarkable place in the world,’ said Iain.

‘Last year, we held it virtually because of the Covid restrictions, so we are particularly thrilled to showcase life in Campbeltown to international audiences once more, with Alice at the helm, documenting what makes our home so special.

‘Between the weather, landscapes, community spirit and Alice’s exceptional artistry, we are looking forward to an exhibition with plenty of Campbeltown character.’