Join artists Lynne Strachan and Mary Bourne as they talk about their project Cabrach Reconnections in remote upland Moray, and Virginia Hutchison as she shares her project Stories of Radical Landownership in North Lewis. Followed by a discussion on what works and what to avoid!
About Cabrach Reconnections
During 2021 Moray-based artists, Lynne Strachan and Mary Bourne developed an arts project in The Cabrach, a remote upland area just on the Moray side of the border with Aberdeenshire. The project’s aim was to find ways for people to reconnect with each other through arts activities and to get out and enjoy the stunning scenery and wildlife in the area, reconnecting with nature. Having spent time with the people in this place, the artists produced an exhibition exploring some of the challenges facing the local community.
About Stories of Radical Landownership in North Lewis
Produced in collaboration with artist Virginia Hutchison this project brings together narratives surrounding the community land buyout of the Galson Estate in 2007. Created during the COVID pandemic in 2020/2021 the project weaves together local audio archives and interviews and brings them into contemporary conversations surrounding community land ownership. With access and social distancing measures in mind the project has taken the form of a series of cast bronze artefacts temporarily sited in the landscape of North Lewis. Embedded with digital QR codes the artefacts link visitors directly to the audio works via mobile phone.
“If you didn’t know the names of these places you couldn’t talk about them.” 
Underpinning the interviews are recitals of the Gaelic place-names that define North Lewis. A gentle call and response between Gaelic and English - though not a direct translation - through the landscape, geography and history of the area.
This project was produced in conversation with artists Stephen Hurrel and Fiona Rennie. Many thanks to the Galson Estate staff and community. Special thanks to Agnes and Frank Rennie, Lisa Maclean, Annie MacSween, Iain Gordon Macdonald, Richard Collins (Edinburgh University), Edinburgh College of Art and Blackbay Recording Studios.
 Annie Macsween, Faclan 2020, A History with Heart and Soul – The Place-names of North Lewis, Ness Historical Society
Mary Bourne and Lynne Strachan have (scarily) over 50 years’ experience of engagement and public realm work between them. They have worked together before, but always for a client. Lockdown gave them a chance to take stock and they decided they would like to put their experience to use, shaping a project, Cabrach Reconnections, which they believed would have the best possible chance of successful outcomes for everyone involved. They are grateful to Creative Scotland for enabling them to realise this project.
Virginia Hutchison is an artist based in Glasgow and the Isle of Lewis. Working within a predominantly social context her practice draws on the processes involved in collaborative creative production to explore how different forms of artistic engagement influence the interaction we have with our environments. Virginia currently runs the bronze casting facilities at Edinburgh College of Art and is one part of the duo ’In the Shadow of the Hand’ with artist and film-maker Sarah Forrest. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Virginia currently sits of the board of Directors at An Lanntair Arts Centre in Stornoway.