Alternative location revealed for River Ness Art ‘Gathering Place’

Gathering Place
Artist's impression of the Gathering Place on Ness Walk

More images

Visual impressions of an alternative location for the River Ness Art Project’s centrepiece “The Gathering Place” have been revealed by the Inverness City Arts (ICArts) Working Group.

The Gathering Place is the main centrepiece project of The Highland Council’s Inverness City Arts (ICArts) Working Group River Ness Art projects. The Gathering Place project is an artistic collaboration between the art practice Sans façon and the creative studio KHBT internationally renowned artists who have worked on multimillion pound projects across the world.

The new location and visualisations for the Gathering Place were revealed as Ness Walk in front of Eden Court Theatre.

Provost of Inverness and Co-Chair of Inverness City Arts (ICArts) Working Group Cllr Helen Carmichael said: “I would like to thank everyone who attended a stakeholders meeting which was held on Friday (27 May) at Eden Court. It was a really positive meeting and generally positive views were expressed about the alternative location.  Whilst there were some concerns raised about safety and maintenance of the design and the potential impact on fishing, I feel that the answers given helped to reassure those present. The new visual images also help to show how well the Gathering Place will fit very unobtrusively within the new setting, with fabulous views up and down the river. ”

Co-Chair of the Inverness City Arts (ICArts) Working Group, Cllr Thomas Prag said: “There is a general feeling that this location will be much better setting for the Gathering Place, providing a more appropriate context and an extension of the contemporary art at the Eden Court site. It will undoubtedly be a unique tourist attraction which Inverness very much needs.”

He added: “The visitor experience will be enhanced at this site where there will be water underneath the structure at all the times (as opposed to the previously mooted tidal Friar’s Shott location). Having water present at all times will allow the design of steel, clad in timber to be slightly smaller in span.”

All the necessary safety and maintenance aspects of the Gathering Place, including a protective barrier will be included in the detailed technical designs.

The artists impressions can be viewed at Highland Council’s Flickr site.

The organisations and business represented at the meeting included: Eden Court, Inverness Angling Club, Inverness BID, Inverness Loch Ness TBID, Inverness Civic Trust, Highland Hospice, Scottish Council for Development and Industry, University of the Highlands and Islands, High Life Highland, Inverness Cathedral, local community councils, businesses and senior media editors.

The River Ness Art Projects are:

  • The Gathering Place – a major artwork designed to bring people together to enjoy the River Ness.
  • The Sculptural Destination - an iconic landmark to visit, interact with or view.
  • Rest Spaces - relaxation areas for individuals or small groups.
  • The Trail – a paper or digital map and trail from Ness islands to the river mouth including things of local interest.
  • River Connections - seating areas and poetry set into stones.
  • Children’s Riverside Water Feature – for young people and families with educational opportunities.

The £758,350 River Ness Art projects have been commissioned by The Highland Council’s Inverness City Arts Working Group and has funding approval from Creative Scotland £305,600 (40%), The City of Inverness Common Good Fund £280,750 (37%), The Highland Council £106,000 (14%) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise £66,000 (9%). 

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30 May 2016
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