The landscape of Dumfries & Galloway has long been a source of creativity. Ancient rock markings left by the regionâ€™s earliest inhabitants, Henry Mooreâ€™s modernist sculptures at the Glenkiln Sculpture Park, Andy Goldsworthyâ€™s iconic red sandstone Striding Arches which overlook the valley of Cairnhead, these are just some of the monuments inÂ the regionÂ that demonstrate the unique bond between people and their natural environment. It can even count some of Scotlandâ€™s greatest thinkers, including Robert Burns, Hugh MacDiarmid and Thomas Carlyle, amongst those who have found inspiration in its unspoiled natural beauty, from its sandy beaches to rolling hills and emerald forests.
In recognition of the regionâ€™s special artistic heritage, the inaugural Environmental Art Festival Scotland will take place over four days from 30 August – 2 September. Discover the connections artists have made with the landscape, past and present, at locations spread throughout the region. View stunning temporary public art installations in a diverse range of settings including Galloway Forest Park, its Dark Sky Park, a beach on the Solway coast, and even a ruined 16th century kirk which appeared in The Wickerman. See an amazing optical illusion created using 200 trees, a fountain powered by the natural energy of the river Sark, and a sculpture of giant sea monster built from driftwood and other refuse found washedÂ ashore on Red Haven beach.
Why not take the opportunity to visit some of the region’s permanent public artworks? The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a 30-acre sculpture garden in Portrack HouseÂ nearÂ Dumfries, the homeÂ of itsÂ designer the renowned landscape architect and theorist Charles Jencks. Taking inspiration from mathematical formulae and scientific phenomena, the garden is a uniquely abstract fusion of naturally occuring terrain and artifical symmetry and curves. Although private, the garden will open its doors to the public as part of the festival on 2 September. YouÂ can alsoÂ take a trip to see Andy Goldsworthy’s Millennium Cairn at Penpont and the region’s memorial to Hugh MacDiarmid, a giant illustrated metal book that sits high on a moor above Langholm.
Enjoy an array of activities and events during the festival including talks, dance and theatre performances, film screenings, live music, a picnic and a ceilidh, and much more.Take a look at the festivalâ€™s programme to find out more about the variousÂ commissions, exhibitions and performances, and make bookings. Learn about DumfriesÂ & Gallowayâ€™s flourishing arts and culture scene, other fantastic events taking place in the region, and great accommodation.