Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects – Lumsden Weekender

In July 2017 Scottish Sculpture Workshop presented Edge Effects at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. This programme brought together six artists from the Frontiers in Retreat (FiR) project (who between 2013 and 2017 undertook long-term residencies at SSW), and presented their work alongside artists from across Europe working with similar themes and issues as those explored through FiR. Across the four day Edge Effects programme artists hosted workshops, walks, films, sauna whisking and sonic performances that explored the complex co-dependencies between ecology, society, economics, and politics today.

In the first week of November we brought the essence of Edge Effects back to SSW for the Lumsden Weekender, inviting people to come together and experience some of the permanent works made by artists on residency through Frontiers In Retreat. These works include Mari Keski-Korsu’s sauna, in which she developed her Beat to the Balance practice, Brett Bloom’s Camp Breakdown Break Down Council Circle and Bonfire, and the Edge Effects Library which holds a rich collection of resources curated by artists and arts workers from the project.

Images: Ross Fraser McLean/StudioRoRo

The Frontiers in Retreat project has strived to generate a more complex understanding of the entanglements unfolding between locally articulated ecological concerns and larger, systemic, global processes. At SSW this has meant researching the local and specific ecologies of the North East of Scotland, and connecting them to wider issues such as global climate change.

Deep Mapping, a research process and methodology utilised in the work of both FiR artist Brett Bloom and former SSW Director Dr Nuno Sacramento, used the village of Lumsden and the surrounding landscape as the site for exploring deep and situated knowledge of place. This is presented in the co-written publication Deep Mapping, which was launched during Edge Effects – Lumsden Weekender. The book explores ‘Deep Mapping’ as a way of encouraging people to consider, question and explore how we inhabit landscapes and provides the ideas for radical and inclusive forms of map making.

The SSW locality and associated knowledge has formed a key part of FiR, as has bringing together a diverse range of approaches, positions and practices. During Edge Effects – Lumsden Weekender this was highlighted through artist Nic Green’s Disco Ceilidh, a traditional Scottish gathering with an edge!

Importantly this weekend programme was an opportunity to reflect on the five year FiR project with local individuals, communities and audiences who engaged with and generously supported various artist projects. The weekender invited people to join us in a series of social activities, to discuss our relationships and how we continue to support and connect with each other, beyond the life of the project.

Over the winter of 2017 SSW continues to activate the ideas and themes developed within FiR through the Nightshift residences, public talks programme and a series of Edge Effects Reading Groups devised by contemporary artists from across the UK.


Edge Effects marks the conclusion of the five year Frontier in Retreat programme and is presented through a series of eight satellite exhibitions taking place at Frontier in Retreat partner sites across Europe between July and December 2017 and in Seoul in 2018.

For more information on these visit: Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects

Frontiers In Retreat is organised by HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme in partnership with Mustarinda, Finland; Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Scotland; Interdisciplinary Art Group SERDE, Latvia; Cultural Front -GRAD, Serbia; Centre d’Art i Natura de Farrera, Spain; Skaftfell – Centre for Visual Art, Iceland; and Jutempus, Lithuania.

For more information on SSW’s Edge Effects Glasgow programme visit: Frontiers in Retreat: Edge Effects – Glasgow

Frontiers in Retreat is funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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