"Art on the Edge: Socially Engaged Arts Practice in Rural & Coastal Communities"

Socially engaged art exists ‘on the edge’ of the art world. In a shift away from the historic ‘individualistic’ arts field, socially engaged art blurs the boundary between practitioner and participants.

This seminar explores how socially engaged artists are actively embracing collective creativity as a way of eroding, blurring and questioning this historic line of modern art. Through a series of case studies from across the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the speakers will discuss if, as socially engaged practitioners, they are more open to this practice because of living in a geographical ‘edge’.

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Remote access only

8 Remote access

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Joanna Rodgers
email: Joanna.Rodgers@uhi.ac.uk

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The speakers will explore the tensions and concessions of socially engaged art practice and how that maps onto a rural and coastal creative practice. The speakers will highlight recent projects, outlining key themes and learning and ultimately the connection to place that being ‘on the edge’ encourages. Amy Dunnachie and Fiona Rennie will explore the unique situation of socially engaged arts in island communities, whilst Louise Kernaghan and Charlotte Mountford will share their experience working in the Highlands. The seminar will interrogate what our unique situations allows as practitioners to operate on ‘the knife edge between the two, the space in between, neither one – nor the other – but both…no man’s land, the land where the unexpected always happens’ (Jordan, 2006, p. 12).


  • Charlotte Mountford (Lead / Organiser) – Charlotte is a creative producer based in Caithness. She is Co-Director of Lyth Arts Centre, the UK’s most northerly mainland arts centre. She is also completing the MA Art and Social Practice at UHI, as are all the other contributors
  • Amy Dunnachie (Speaker)– Amy is a storyteller Jura from and based in Jura www.amyfinds.co.uk/
  • Louise Kernaghan (Speaker) – Louise is visual and walking artist based in Lochaber https://www.louisekernaghan.com/ 
  • Fiona Rennie (Speaker) – Fiona is a photographer and designer from and based in the Isle of Lewis https://www.fionarenniephoto.com/ 
  • Additional Collaborators – Brodie Sim (artist and producer based in Tiree); Georgia McDowal (artist based in Fort William / Glasgow); Roxane Permar (Research Fellow, Reader and Programme Leader, MA Art and Social Practice, Shetland College UHI)

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