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Lyth Arts Centre are thrilled to announce our latest cohort of CAIR artists! Our new team of locally based artists will be working across the Caithness community, bringing the art to the people!
Please see below more information on each artist and the areas in which they will be working.
Lisa Weller ‘Bower Artist in Residence’– Lisa will collaborate with Bower Busy Bees Nursery and Bower Primary School. She will work with families and children in the village to support the transition from nursery to primary school.
Lisa is a full-time artist living and working in her cliff-top house in Papigoe in Wick. Painting in both her maiden name of Lisa Weller and in her married name of Lisa McDonald, Lisa has sold extensively and has international collectors of both bodies or work.
She established her art business, Haven House Art, in 2013, where she now sells prints and gifts and offers wellbeing coaching. She also teaches people how to paint and is a huge advocate for using creativity to boost wellbeing.
Lisa takes inspiration from the natural landscape and loves to immerse herself in the wild and rugged Caithness landscape as much as possible.
Shelagh Swanson ‘Sinclair’s Bay Artist in Residence’– Shelagh will collaborate with the Sinclair’s Bay Trust on a new project called Safe Harbour. She will work with participants in the area to explore their stories through a series of mixed media workshops and encourage them to share ideas and find connections.
Shelagh Swanson, a farmer’s daughter from Bower, graduated in 2004 from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen with BA (Hons) Fine Art/Painting. After graduation she discovered a passion for glass, in particular Fused Glass, at the International Centre of Excellence, North Lands Creative.
Subsequent masterclasses and residencies in the UK and USA strengthened her knowledge of the medium. After 10 years establishing her artistic career in Aberdeen, she recently returned to Caithness where she creates work in both Painting and Glass to commission and for exhibition from her rural studio. Well known for her bold and expressive painterly aesthetic, her works are an emotional response to her surroundings.
Recurring themes include her relationship to and experiences of landscape. Passionate about working within a community context, she has completed a number of participatory projects and residencies. Shelagh now mainly works to commission with work being held internationally in both private and public collections.
Gordon Gunn ‘Dunbeath Artist in Residence’ – Gordon will be collaborating with Dunbeath Primary School on a new project inspired by LAC’s Unexpected Garden. Together they will write a new piece of music inspired by the hidden Caithness Gardenof Dunbeath Strath.
Gordon Gunn has been described as “one of the most exciting and innovative fiddle players of the times.”
Born & brought up in Wick, Caithness, Gordon was taught by the highly respected violin teacher Margaret Henderson who taught many pupils in the north of Scotland.
Gordon is also a founding member of Scottish group Session A9 who were voted best live act at the 2012 Trad Awards.
Andrea Wotherspoon ‘Thurso Artist in Residence’ – Andrea will be collaborating with young people in and around Thurso on a project called Where Cats Glow Green, exploring the legacy and future of Dounreay. Young people will learn more about the recent history of the local area, as well as the future environmental impact, and create an awareness of how we, in the present, always have a responsibility to future generations.
Andrea Wotherspoon is a writer, born and bred in Thurso. Apart from four years studying Economics at the University of Stirling, she has always lived in Caithness, and her writing is very much inspired by the landscape and history of the county.
She has had over 50 short stories published in anthologies and magazines, including The People’s Friend, Take a Break Fiction Feast and You Magazine. In 2021 she self-published her first e-book of short stories, entitled A Loveliness of Ladybirds, and Other Stories.
Hannah Cambridge – Hannah is collaborating with New Start Highland and families in Caithness who are supported by the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.
Hannah Cambridge is a Wick based illustrator who typically deals with traditional painting but also has a background in digital animation and ceramics.
She is currently opening her own studio shop on the high street in Wick where she’ll be teaching workshops, selling her wares and working on all the different products she makes. Hannah said “One day I’m painting a watercolour card, the next I’m designing throw cushions – anything goes and I love that about being creative!”
We also have the fantastic Lisa Poulsen who has been working as a CAIR artist since around February, more info on Lisa’s project here
CAIR is supported by Inspiring Scotland Creative Communities and Creative Scotland Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development