New installation on Bennachie with Venice Biennale artist Elpida

This morning Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva led a group of volunteer artists to create a large scale temporary artwork/installation on Bennachie hill. Over the next few days Elpida will be working closely with students from Gray’s School of Art, as well as the Forestry Commission Scotland and the Bailies of Bennachie, and the artwork will emerge as a spectacular visual intervention spanning over 0.6 of a hectare, visible from the summit of Mither Tap and Mill Stone.


Working collaboratively as part of a swarm, each of the volunteers will work on a section of the hillside, spiralling out from the centre and painting each of the felled tree stumps with a red oxide stain to create a large triangular zone – reflecting the division of the managed land evident on Bennachie.

“My aim is to make work that challenges and inspires the viewer, and which resonates with the surroundings. Using locally significant or sourced materials, and following personal and in-depth research responding to the physical site, I use both scale and surprise to challenge the viewer to see the world through different eyes.”

Hadzi-Vasileva has approached this project through discussion and research, employing active and creative involvement from both individuals and groups. The Forestry Commission Scotland and the Bailies of Bennachie have worked closely with the artist to help disseminate key themes unique to Bennachie, from the social and political context of the Bennachie range from the perspective of the two key users.

“I am interested in the geological aspect of this project, and in the latent and discrete forms that can be exposed, revealed and highlighted. Steered by local knowledge and dialogue, I will be creating a site-specific installation on the hills, following boundary lines and the management procedures carried out by the Forestry Commission. One of the materials I would like to utilise is the unique Macaulayite, with the only known source in the world being the quarry at the foot of Bennachie”.

More information about the Natural Bennachie project can be found on www.naturalbennachie.org. The project is led by Scottish Sculpture Workshop, in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland, Bailies of Bennachie, Aberdeenshire Council Rangers and University of Aberdeen.

Natural Bennachie received National Lottery funding through the Creative Scotland Year of Natural Scotland Open Fund.

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