‘River Connections’ public art project launched

River Ness Art
(left to right) Andy Campbell (Dress for the Weather), Karsten Huneck (Sans facon and KHBT) and Cllr Ken Gowans, Chair ICArts at the launch


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A £756,000 public art project was launched in Inverness today (28 May) by The Highland Council’s Inverness City Arts group.

‘River Connections’ (Art & The River Ness) was unveiled at a public exhibition in Trinity Church on the banks of the River Ness. Members of the public are invited to have their say on the proposals (which are on view at the exhibition from 10:30am to 3pm today) and can also be viewed on the council’s website at: www.highland.gov.uk/rivernessart.

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 River Ness Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Chair of ICArts, Councillor Ken Gowans said: “This is an exciting opportunity to make a lasting impression on the future cultural and artistic landscape of our city centre. We want people to look at the proposals and make their views known on what they would like to see developed, and where they would like this to happen along the River Ness.”

Inverness City Arts is developing the public art programme 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. 

The public are invited to meet some of the artists involved and to examine and comment on the proposals for the artworks as part of the extensive community consultation which the artists are undertaking prior to producing detailed designs for each of the projects.  

The projects and artists are:  

  • River Connections (Mary Bourne): a series of interventions along the river, including seating areas and poetry set into the stones and copes which refer to the natural history and other river stories.
  • Sculptural Destination (by Annie Cattrell): an iconic landmark to visit and interact with on the riverside or to view from some distance away.
  • Rest Spaces (by Dress for the Weather): relaxation areas for individuals or small groups who might informally gather along the river’s edge.
  • The Trail (by Dress for the Weather): 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.
  • Gathering Place (Sans façon and KHBT): a special place for people to come together to enjoy the River Ness.
  • Children’s Riverside Feature: Five Secondary Schools in the Inverness area have the opportunity to be involved in the process to design an interactive play space.  

Comments should be submitted via email to: icarts@highland.gov.uk or in writing to Inverness City Arts, The Highland Council, Town House, Inverness IV1 1JJ

The project is funded by The City of Inverness Common Good Fund, Creative Scotland, The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).


28 May 2015