Sensing Landscapes: Journeys Through Ben Nevis and Glen Coe.

Rachel Mimiec, our National Scenic Areas Artist in Residence, provides a final post from Glencoe.

My residency culminated at Glencoe Village Hall at the end of June. I invited everybody who had engaged with me as part of the residency to a wee gathering, where I gifted them the map artworks I had created in response to my time in Ben Nevis and Glen Coe.

Wee gathering at Glencoe

Wee gathering at Glencoe

The text in the fold of the map reads as follows:

This map is part of a box set of twelve prints that was created in response to the National Scenic Area of Ben Nevis and Glencoe, while undertaking a visual art residency with Scottish Natural Heritage. The residency was supported by Creative Scotland and SNH as part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013.”

Unfolding map

Unfolding map

The project relied on the generosity of people giving up their time to act as my guide and share their knowledge of the landscape in exchange for an artwork generated as a result of this walking and talking process.

The resulting artworks have taken the form of these maps.

Maps on table

Maps on table

I walked with many different people including a mountaineer, a dear stalker, ramblers, geologists, and conservationists who shared with me their different perspectives. Over pack lunches and flasks of tea conversations were had about the special qualities of these areas, the politics of landscape and people’s passion for the outdoors.

As an aide memoire I photographed the places I was taken to and the people who took me there.

Knowledge was exchanged.

A poem, ‘The Writers Life (after Jenny Diski)’, by Alec Finlay, describes the process I undertook perfectly.

walk & think


talk &walk


talk & think


The images used in the maps are abstract slices of personal responses, memories, pulled into focus as if under a microscope.

Maps on table

Maps on table

Rudolf Steiner identified 12 senses all have resonance with my experience of walking and making art about the landscape, combined internal and external responses that stimulate; imagination, inspiration and intuition.

Sense of Ego

Sense of Thought

Sense of Speech

Sense of Hearing

Sense of warmth

Sense of Sight

Sense of Taste

Sense of Smell

Sense of Touch

Sense of Balance

Sense of Movement

Sense of Life

‘Something moves between me and it. Place and a mind may interpenetrate until the nature of both is altered. I cannot tell what this movement is except by recounting it’

Nan Shepherd

These maps are my recounting.

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