An art project based on the paths made by Scots around the globe is set to return home to the shores of Portsoy and to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival. Ebb & Flow, which was launched at the 2012 event, will be back in north east Scotland for this year’s Festival on June 22 and 23.
Ebb and Flow was created by local artists Carla and Bryan Angus, who took inspiration from the influx of visitors who flock to Portsoy from a host of international destinations every year during the Festival weekend. Their work will bring the stories of their journeys to and from the town to life.
The visual art project, which has been funded by Creative Scotland, has been commissioned to run for three years. It will return to the Festival for a final time in 2014, and will be linked to Scotland’s national year of Homecoming when ex-pats will be encouraged to return home to their roots.
Carla and Bryan will put on display the vast collection of references they have accumulated over the past 12 months, including archive photos and interviews with local figures, and details from the census and industry records.
Bryan explains, “Our three-year project aims to pay tribute to the ebb and flow of visitors to Portsoy and the Festival.
“Our work reflects the movements made by the human race and the paths taken in life which on a grander scale, ultimately results in Scottish Diaspora. Over the three years, we hope to demonstrate through our artwork the unique ways in which people are connected to Portsoy and the variety of experiences shared in the town.
“Next year will see Ebb & Flow feature at the festival for the project’s final year, which is particularly relevant in the year of Homecoming as we welcome our friends from around the world to join us in a celebration of all things Scottish.
“Portsoy is a town woven with a rich tapestry of tales and history; we hope that visitors can help us piece together the jigsaw of Portsoy’s past and present.”
In addition to their studio, Bryan and Carla will set up the Ebb & Flow Art Trail which will be found in the windows of premises around the town. Each marked site will showcase unique pieces of artwork such as pastel sketches, flax seedlings, and stitches of fabric, and will also introduce visitors to local businesses.
Carla says, “Each year we try to incorporate different areas of the town in our artwork displays, to ensure visitors have a fulfilling interactive experience. We hope to create a unique compilation of memories and stories of Portsoy which can be added to the town’s rich history.”
Festival chairman Roger Goodyear says, “The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is not only a celebration of maritime heritage - it also places a strong focus on arts and crafts. Ebb and Flow is an interesting and creative way to recognise the heritage of Portsoy and its people. I’m sure everyone who visited Bryan and Carla last year will be interested to see how Ebb & Flow has developed over the past 12 months.”
The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival draws in excess of 16,000 people to the shores of Portsoy every year and as well as heritage boats from near and far it includes a wide range of crafts, music, song and dance from around the world, a delicious food fayre and a fun packed action area.
This year the Festival is a key event in the Year of Natural Scotland – a partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland EventScotland and Scottish Natural Heritage which aims to showcase the country’s unique natural environment.
For more information about the Festival and to buy tickets visit www.stbfportsoy.com. Updates about this year’s festival are also available on Facebook and Twitter @STBFestival. An adult day ticket costs £8, children aged five to 18 and concessions are £5. Adult weekend tickets are priced at £12 and children and concessions at £8. There are also family tickets available which allow entry for two adults and three children for £25 for a day ticket and £35 for a weekend. Children under five go free and there is no charge for parking. Buy tickets online before 31st May 2013 to save 10% off all ticket prices with the festival’s Early Bird Scheme.