From the Calder to the Spey

A proposal following community consultation for a public art installation in the village of Newtonmore. To mark the start/end of the Speyside Way and to celebrate the rich heritage and community of Newtonmore. The design incorporates many themes telling the story of Newtonmore through time . It acts as an informal sundial and is designed to catch the rain allowing the reliefed rivers maps to run. The piece uses the everyday environment to provide an ever changing element to the work and connect the viewer to the moment and our place within the larger planetary system.

The multi faceted design presents a different view on each encounter depending on the light and the angle of approach. The overall shape is based on the iconic hill Creag Dubh which is the backdrop of the village and the war cry of the MacPerson Clan.

Scale model

It depicts from (left to right) the contour map of Glen Banchor and the River Calder alongside the MacPherson wildcat emblem. The people of the small settlements of Glen Banchor came down to the River Spey when the railway was built in the 1890’s, and formed Newtonmore. The rivers connect the past and the present and run through the piece connecting each panel and the people through time. It recognises the change in land use through imprints along the way, from cattle to sheep, bare feet to shoes, walking boots to bike tyres. The following panel celebrates the traditional buildings that were lived in and the conservation of these buildings at the Highland Folk Museum in the Village. The window is designed as an interactive space for viewers to engage with.

Newtonmore has a strong community which is reflected within the design through the Shinty match and crowd. Shinty is an ancient sport which came with the people down from the hills and was traditionally played at New Year. Is a dynamic game which is captured through the use of lines.

The final two sections depict a walker and the compass with distances markers to the various destinations along the Speyside Way, to encourage a sense of achievement for walkers. This also celebrates Newtonmore’s multiple hill walking routes.