Winter Salon

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This winter Timespan’s Gallery will emulate a Grand Victorian Salon, with work hung in gold frames and a programme of events to brighten the darker months.

The Winter Salon showcases works of artists and makers from north of the Caledonian Canal, highlighting the breadth of creativity that exists in our northerly location. The exhibition includes painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass and textiles.

Christmas Music with Golspie Choral Group, 11 December, 7.30pm, £5
A festive evening with music from Golspie Choral Group, mulled wine and mince pies.

Children’s Workshop: Making Christmas Tree Decorations, 14 December, 1:30-3:30pm
A great Christmas craft activity. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Afternoon Tea around the Tree, 14 December, 3-5pm
Enjoy afternoon tea with delicious home-baked treats, with sales tables and demonstrations.

8TH November 2013


Opening of Winter Salon in Helmsdale – 2014 Creative Place nominee

On Friday 15 November at 6pm, artists and art lovers from across the Highlands & Islands will strike gold at the opening of the Winter Salon in Timespan in Helmsdale along with the launch of a website highlighting artists across the North.

It is events such as these which harness the community’s creativity that have resulted in Helmsdale’s recent shortlisting in the 2014 Creative Places Awards which ‘celebrate and recognise the hard work and imagination that contribute to the rich cultural life of a community, as well as its social and economic well-being’.

Running until Christmas Eve, the exhibition offers a contemporary Highland take on the traditional Victorian salon, showcasing works submitted by over 20 artists from across the Highlands & Islands.

The only proviso is that works are exhibited in ‘gold’ frames. (In the 1860s, the nearby Strath of Kildonan witnessed a real life gold rush and people still pan for gold to this day).

The call for works is open to any artist or maker working north of the Caledonian Canal, including the islands in that geographic region. This is also the geographic spread of the new Artlands North website which will launch in conjunction with the exhibition.

As well as highlighting arts activities in the area, the new website enables artists and makers to share their practice and profile. By clicking on the map, visitors can find detailed information on artists’ studios, public artworks and galleries, and private galleries.

Says Timespan’s Curatorial Assistant Frances Davis: “The Winter Salon is all about supporting local artists and makers by highlighting the creativity that exists in our northerly location. At any time of year, events such as these bring artists and the community together, but they are even more important in the ‘off-season’ winter months.”

Artist Meg Telfer, who drove all the way from the remote crofting and fishing hamlet of Skerray to submit her glass sculpture ‘North Sea Moods’ says that the Winter Salon at Timespan provides local artists with a great opportunity to both exhibit work and meet up.

“I just love where I live, it’s the best place to be from a creative point of view, but in a practical way it’s probably nuts, as getting your work anywhere usually involves a Highland Safari.”

All works at the Winter Salon are for sale at a wide range of prices to suit any budget. Exhibiting artists include Janna Emburey, Hazel Cashmore and Angela J Simpson. The Salon also features a programme of special events to brighten the darker months in the Far North, including craft workshops for children, carol singing and a silent auction.

The Winter Salon is open to visitors during Timespan’s Winter opening hours: Tuesdays 2 – 4pm, Saturdays & Sundays 12-4. T: 014381 8213237.

In the meantime, Helmsdale is holding its breath until when the winner if the 2014 Creative Place Awards is announced on 29 January.



North Sea Moods by Meg Telfer (£300) is made of float glass and was inspired by north east coast waves ‘where there is nothing between you and the horizon’. The glass is bent using a slumping technique which allows the four pieces to stand up.

Claudia – ink and gouache by Caithness based artist Angela J Simpson (£85)

For further information, quotes or images, contact Heather MacLeod on

07891144157 or

Timespan, Dunrobin Street, Helmsdale, Sutherland KW8 6JX

Notes for editors

Founded in 1986, Timespan is a charity which started as a community-led project to house a collection of artefacts relevant to the cultural history of the area. Timespan now cares for around 1500 artefacts, over 3000 digital images and hosts more than six exhibitions and residencies every year.

Helmsdale is one of nine Scottish communities shortlisted for the 2014 Creative Place Awards in the category for places with under 2500 residents (Helmsdale has just over 800) Run by Creative Scotland and supported by EventScotland the awards “celebrate and recognise the hard work and imagination that contribute to the rich cultural life of a community, as well as its social and economic well-being’.

If successful we will create an additional programme of activities in 2014 called Serendipitous North which will map the creative connections that exist within the remote community, making visible the often unseen and unrecognised creativity of Helmsdale’s inhabitants.

The project will investigate six creative artforms: sculpture, music, crafts, painting, dance and writing/storytelling. An established creative practitioner from within each field will be invited to work in Helmsdale over a period of 6 weeks, finding and mapping the creative activity existing within the community related to their artform.

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