February 2013 

NVA's Island Drift

In 2012 NVA first began to imagine working in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Realising the extent of possibilites the first ideas focussed on a range of mountain and hill locations and running at night throughout the park

The centenary of John Muir, and the opening up of a new coast-to-coast route in Spring 2014, threw a new line of enquiry into the mix. Maybe we would create a spur from Glasgow linking up to Commonwealth games? But after a dose of ‘politics and parochialism’ we decided to work alone with the park and imagine a work that might challenge NVA’s historic practice.

Over the last 15 years we have created some powerful interventions in natural places, by day and by night. The methodology involves performance or installation often on a large scale, with the public moving through a chosen location to witness and complete the work. The photographic documentation of each production has its own integrity and value.

The images often talk to new audiences who did not necessarily experience the original production. The quality of photographic record created from Speed of Light recently equalled and expanded the impact of the ‘live’ action.

What if for the first time we subordinated ‘performing the landscape’ as the main intention? Instead we might manipulate the effects of light and movement over large physical spaces, purely to feed the creation of a photographic artwork. This would give a very different reason to place elements in the chosen setting.

The team including lead designer James Johnson and photographer Alan McAteer are looking for a new way to respond to the islands of Loch Lomond. We quickly realised that imposing established NVA lighting interventions were irrelevant to reading the new territory, and key breakthroughs were to come through the insights of park rangers rather than preimposed solutions.

This chronological timeline gives access to how our plans evolve as we move towards an articulation of what we find and see.

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