Annie Lord was appointed as artist in residence in March 2022 for a project run by Fife Contemporary and The Ecology Centre.
Her work is embedded in the natural landscape and she is passionate about finding creative ways to encourage people to spend more time in their local environment. In 2019 she was commissioned by the Forth Rivers Trust, alongside fellow artist Morvern Odling, to create a permanent piece of public artwork which encouraged residents of Livingston to engage with their local river Almond. The artwork was to be co-created with the community and would be installed at the sites of three new fish passes installed by the Trust.
Recently she has been making work which considers how to engage with the natural world and how to promote safe community activity during the Covid-19 pandemic. For a series of online drawing classes she led, she made small packs of art materials to send out which included charcoal made from the local environment. Participants on a ‘Nature From Your Window’ course received willow charcoal gathered from riverbanks in West Lothian so that as everyone each sat behind their individual desks, they were able to share the experience of working with this unique local material.
Her ongoing public artwork, ‘The Neighbouring Orchard’ seeks to link together individuals and communities through the act of growing apple trees. This commission from Art Walk Projects has resulted in a network of over 100 trees planted in tenement greens, shared gardens and community spaces in Portobello, Craigmillar and Musselburgh. A further 50 trees will be planted out this winter. The project encourages growing in small, domestic spaces and is inspired by the long history of market
gardening in coastal Edinburgh. Each grower received everything they needed to establish their apple tree and have also received training in pruning and caring for their tree. They planted the trees not only as a marker of a particular time but also as an act of hope – looking forward to the time in which they could gather to share their harvests. As part of the project she has run drawing classes, both online and as outdoor events, hosted charcoal making sessions using apple prunings and produced further artwork including drawings, texts and an audio piece. An accompanying book will be published in 2022.
During her residency at The Ecology Centre, Annie plans to meet with some of the diverse groups who use the Centre regularly, as well as leading some family-friendly workshop too.