Public opinion ‘important’ for River Ness art project

People in Inverness and the Highlands are being invited to have their say on a major public art project that will see a new visitor destination created along the banks of the River Ness in Inverness.

The project is being led by the Inverness City Arts (ICArts) working group of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee to complement The Highland Council’s River Ness Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Members of the public are invited to view a presentation and exhibition on the development of the River Ness Public Art Project at Trinity Church, Huntly Place, Inverness on 28 May from 10.30am till 3pm.

Chair of the ICArts Working Group, Councillor Ken Gowans said:

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to put Inverness on the destination map for art and cultural tourism. The proposed River Connections projects are not just an end in themselves, they are part of the beginning of a new City Vision for Inverness.

“River Connections aims is to enhance the riverside experience to make it more of a destination and less of a thoroughfare for locals and visitors alike. We are creating art of the people for the people and this is your chance meet some of the artists, hear what they have to say and most importantly make your views known on what you would like to see developed in your City, and where you would like this to happen along the River Ness. I urge anyone with an interest in the River Ness-side to come to the exhibition, meet the artists and submit their comments.”

The public art programme will be designed to enhance the riverside and complement the River Ness Flood Alleviation Scheme. Ideas from public consultation, local residents, river users, school pupils and students will assist commissioned artists in taking a creative approach to integrating high quality artwork into the flood scheme.

Councillor Gowans added: “Come and meet some of the artists involved - everyone is welcome. Examine and comment on proposals for the artworks and your views will be included in an extensive community consultation which the artists are undertaking prior to producing detailed designs for each of the projects.”

The projects are:

  • “The Gathering Place” - a special place for people to come together to enjoy the River Ness. 
  • “The Sculptural Destination” - an iconic landmark to visit and interact with on the riverside or to view from some distance away.
  • “Rest Spaces” - relaxation areas for individuals or small groups who might informally gather along the river’s edge.
  • “The Trail” - mapping the river to create a trail from the Ness islands to the river mouth including local stories, environmental knowledge and other practical information accessed through a traditional paper map or digitally by mobile phone.
  • “River Connections” - a series of interventions along the river, including seating areas and poetry set into the stones and copes which refer to the natural history other river stories.
  • “Children’s Riverside Feature” – a focus for young people and families with educational opportunities.

The £756,000 River Ness Public Art Project is funded by The City of Inverness Common Good Fund, Creative Scotland, The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

21 May 2015
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