Steep Trail – 2013 conference and exhibition

Steep Trail Conference – Collaboration : Improving the Model

12 June 2013, 9.30-4.00, Brunton Theatre, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh, EH21 6AA
The event is free but places must be booked. To book your place email or call Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop on 0131 551 4490.
Collaboration : Improving the Model – The nature of collaboration, particularly cross-disciplinary, is examined with a view to asking how current models of collaboration function, and ways in which they could be improved.
This day-long conference is being organised as part of Steep Trail, an international project set up by Polarcap, Fife Contemporary Art & Craft and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, to explore the legacy of John Muir and his continuing relevance to current environmental and cultural debate in the 21st century with a keynote speech by Dr Iain Biggs of the University of the West of England and chaired by Ben Twist of Creative Carbon Scotland.
The project has developed through several strands, art/eco labs were established along the East coast of Scotland which brought together artists, scientists and environmental activists to follow John Muir’s example of physical and intellectual exploration through walking and talking. Participants met over two days to discuss their work within the contexts of climate change, public dissemination and social impact. Talks about the project have allowed other organisations within and outside of Scotland to use this model, and artist exchanges and exhibitions set up between China and Scotland in 2012 have widened the context of the discussion.
Using themes identified from these activities, the conference seeks to bring together strands of shared concerns between artists, scientists and writers including conservation, sustainability, climate change and the role of contemporary art in helping to foster effective dialogues.
– Chair : Ben Twist : Carbon and Arts Management Consultant, Creative Carbon Scotland
– Dr Iain Biggs-University of the West of England- Director PLaCE
– Prof David Munro: Historical geographer, author of ‘Scotland: An Encyclopedia of Places and Landscape’
– Mary Modeen, artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine art and Art and Philosophy at the University of Dundee. Convener PLaCE, Scotland
– Claudia Zeiske, Director Deveron Arts,
– Rania Ho, artist in Beijing, Co-founder of Arrow Factory, Partner at Kupa Studios, Steep Trail exchange artist to Scotland
– Graeme Todd, artist, co-founder of Polarcap and Steep Trail exchange artist to China
– Dr Alexandra Wortley, Royal Botanic Gardens and Hamer Dodds, artist, cross disciplinary practitioners
– Chris Fremantle, producer, researcher, writer cultural historian,
Supported by Steep Trail Project, University of Edinburgh: Knowledge Exchange, East Lothian Arts Services: ELC and Creative Scotland
How to get there:



19 Jan – 3 Mar 2013; FCA&C @ St Andrews Museum (Kinburn Park, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, KY16 9DP, tel 01334 659380); open daily 10.30am-4pm, free admission.

An exhibition inspired by the environmental pioneer John Muir’s historic visit to China. It features new work in a range of media – the outcome of an international artist exchange between Jonathan Owen and Graeme Todd from Scotland and Rania Ho and Wang Xieda from China. Organised in partnership with Polarcap and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

– Upcycling Workshop with artist Dawn Murray, Thurs 14 Feb 2013, 11am-1pm, cost £3 per child. Using what you might just call rubbish, learn how to make useful things out of it to take home.
8-12s can come unaccompanied, 5-7s must bring an adult

– Abstract Workshop with Nancy Incoll, Fri 15 Feb 2013, 11am-1pm, cost £3 per child. Make several small works to take home while learning about colour, line, pattern and shape.
For 8-12s

– Family Fun Day, Sat 16 Feb 2013, 12 noon-3pm, free and for any age. Face-painting and storytelling in the gallery and arty activities in the adjoining room.

– Informal tour of the exhibition with one of the exhibiting artists, Graeme Todd, Sun 24 Feb 2013, 2pm – all welcome.

Click here to download the booking form for the Thurs/Fri kids’ workshops. Book at St Andrews Museum (tel 01334 659380 /

– Winter Walk & Talk, Sat 2 Mar 2013, 1.30pm, St Andrews Botanic Garden (Canongate, St Andrews). Meet at the Glass Class (wet weather alternative will be provided) and enjoy a walk around the Garden with Nikki Macdonald. Refreshments will be served in the Glass Class afterwards. Talk free but usual entry to the Garden applies – £2 (adults)/£1 (concessions/children); free to Friends of the Botanic Garden and RHS members. To book, please contact FCA&C – 01334 474610 or


9-30 March 2013 – Steep Trail at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop . Open Mon-Sat 10.30-5, free admission.

3 Apr – 12 May 2013 – Steep Trail at the Dunbar Town House Museum and Gallery. Open Mon-Sun, 1-5pm. Sun 21 Apr, 2-4pm – Steep Trail artists talk, Dunbar Town House Museum & Gallery; all welcome.