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Annie Lord’s Ecology Centre Residency

My mini artist’s residency, supported by Fife Contemporary, has sadly come to an end. Over spring and summer, I had the opportunity to spend time onsite – at first getting to know the people who work or volunteer here, or in some cases both! Latterly I returned to run printmaking and drawing workshops. I was so inspired by the beautiful artwork that was produced that I decided to turn them into something celebratory – to honour the vibrant community of the Ecology Centre.

So, I had the artwork made into a textile (at the Centre for Advanced Textiles, Glasgow), and spent the next few days sewing together metres and metres of flag bunting. Each individual piece was made by someone who attended a workshop or one of the volunteer groups at the Ecology Centre. They depict the animals and plants of the local landscape – tadpoles, frogs, coots, elder leaves, the rings of a tree and the earth itself.

On a Saturday at the end of July, the bunting had its first outing at the Ecology Centre’s Beach Day on Kinghorn beach. The bunting flapped in the sea breeze as people gathered to go rock-pooling, made monoprints and created sand sculptures. I hope that for years to come, this bunting will be hung out at celebrations and community events. Some of the fabric was also used to create a set of weighted beanbags – perfect for playing games with and another way to celebrate the brilliant patterns and textures created on the workshops.

The landscape of the Ecology Centre provided a rich source of inspiration, with so much to see and draw! From now on, visitors to the Ecology Centre can borrow an activity kit which will provide the tools you need to creatively explore the site. Each kit contains a handmade notebook, a viewfinder, a ‘Discovery Drawing’ guide and art materials. All of this is packaged up in a beautiful tote bag printed by one of the volunteers at the Ecology Centre. It’s the perfect way for children to spend some time engaging with nature and playing with new techniques. Kits can be borrowed from reception. We can’t wait to see what you create – please share any photos with the Ecology Centre and Fife Contemporary (Facebook/Instagram @fifecontemp @theecologycentre, and Twitter @fifecontemp @theecology_1 with #kinghornloch).

It has been such a pleasure to get to spend time at the Ecology Centre and I am looking forward to returning as a visitor to sit and sketch in the grounds and enjoy this wonderful place. A big thank you to everyone who came along to a workshop, and in particular to the volunteers who helped put together the kits.

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