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Designed by Marco Scerri, edited by Susan Christie and supported by Creative Scotland
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Project website: mistandmountains.wordpress.com
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park was designated in 2002 and covers 720 square miles of outstanding landscape adjacent to the central belt of Scotland. It is within an hour’s drive of over 50% of Scots and is the most heavily used area of countryside for recreation, with around four million visitors per annum.
Steve Messam, the artist selected to work within the park says, "I like working with landscapes and creating temporary works which peel back the layers of narratives they're made from.” He was particularly interested
in the historical remnants of other ages and uses, like the gold mine near Balquidder or coming across disused roads or old segments of fences on top of high mountains.
Because of the daunting size of the park, Messam concentrated on the north east corner, the area furthest away from large centres of population. With a park ranger he walked the path of the old railway through Glen Ogle, now part of a national cycle route. It runs over some impressive stone viaducts, and Messam was drawn to the idea of the lost sounds of the steam trains that rst brought visitors from the cities. In the course of the residency, he proposed installing steam train whistles over eighteen miles of the old line from Callander. Triggered in sequence, they would echo around the hills and describe the changing landscape across the Highland Fault using sound. So far it has only been possible to test this along a two-mile stretch, but fundraising is underway to realise the full eighteen mile version.
‘By using sound over such a large distance it does all the things I’ve tried to do with other projects but in a much more clean and succinct way. Despite its scale and ambition and the hardness of the landscape and weather, it survives as something so incredibly delicate. The echoes do something so subtle you can only get it by being there.’
- Steve Messam