Hugh Watt 2012

Hugh Watt’s residency resulted in multi-disciplinary responses to the surrounding landscape and its connection with the people now and throughout history, producing films and interventions in the land immersing himself into the community of Helmsdale. During his time here he arranged for a Gaelic choir to sing into the hills and he managed to kayak down the entire length of the Helmsdale River. 

Artist’s statement

Since graduating from the Master of Fine Arts program in 1999, I have worked predominantly with film and video.

My artistic output is driven by a fascination, concerned with the fabric and context of specific sites, especially sites in remote, on the edge places, exploring concepts where artworks are spun directly from the fabric of the sites where they are eventually shown.
In a poetic and metaphoric manner, much of my work seeks to address a collective sense of connectedness to place, as well as to expose social and historical fractures, which can create a sense of individual displacement.
Through the months of Oct and Nov 2012, I have been resident artist at Timespan in Helmsdale where over the past six weeks my research has taken me, out to sea in a small fishing boat, on long walks through the hills, along the 18 mile, Strath of Kildonnan and kayaking down the entire length of the Helmsdale river in an attempt to get to better understand something of the geographical, social histories, which defined the village of Helmsdale and the Strath of Kildonnan. With much of my work, a large part of my research is based on direct physical contact and long hours spent lost in the landscape. Throughout my time here I have continued to play with ways to make, what I would call, transient poetic interactions in the landscape, where the context of specific sites lets the work operate in a much more complex and unique fashion.

Ach'-na-h-uai by Hugh Watt from Timespan on Vimeo.

Visit Hugh Watt’s Blog