Rachel Mimiec, our National Scenic Areas Artist in Residence, provides a January update from the dramatic landscape of Glencoe and Ben Nevis.
I am back in residence in the Ben Nevis/Glencoe National Scenic Area for another few weeks, following up leads that were made during my last visit, and trying to be outdoors as much as possible with challenging winter weather.
At the end of last year I did manage a walk on part of the West Highland Way from the Kings House Hotel to Kinlochleven. It had snowed the night before and, apart from meeting a few American tourists who had stopped their car to walk up the beginning of the Devil’s Staircase, I was on my own … or so I thought !
What becomes apparent when walking on fresh snow-covered ground is that you are never really alone. I kept coming across little footprints and other marks on the white, soft canvas ground. I may not have seen much wildlife but I was aware of their presence.
I have noticed that interventions in the landscape have been an ongoing interest in my art practice and research; from nature’s mark-making to our perhaps more ‘aggressive’ human marks; farming, forestry and civil engineering.
So my walk began with paw prints and ended with the pipe system in Kinlochleven, in my opinion both equally interesting imprints in the landscape.
West Highland Way @ http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fortwilliam/kingshouse-kinlochleven.shtml