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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
Where do our artists come from? Where do our artists come from?

Tim Knowles

Exploration Aids

2015 – 2019

Environments are never complete but are continually under construction... For it is in the very process of dwelling that we build.
Tim Ingold, Building, Dwelling, Living
Creating a network of Howffs in the landscape

Frustrated by high property prices and a degree of homelessness in London, Tim Knowles came to research shelter and housing opportunities in the remote often described as hostile Hielan' Ways area south to Huntly. 

Exploration Aids is an investigation of landscape through sculptural intervention. It incorporates existing structures of the environment and is stimulated by discussion of common property rights. The right to roam supports access to land for recreation and exercise, however, where do the realities of land ownership and use lie?  While property in Britain's southern cities is expensive, the area investigated -  loosely defined by the Cabrach and Glenbuchat estates, over the Cairngorm National Park between Huntly and Braemar - has many abandoned houses and dwellings. It comprises Forestry Commission land, private farmland, grouse shooting estates, absentee landowners, and National Trust/estate care. Ecologically, it features forests, grouse and moorland, cattle and crop field, as well as mountains, rivers and loch environments.



Exploration Aids addresses the hurdles of access and land use and provides ideas and solutions for overcoming these through the development of a loose network of remote sites in the North-East of Scotland. These Howffs were specially designed and placed in the landscape in consideration of obstacles, both ecological and political.

The designed structures are of a 'pop-up' nature; hidden and camouflaged in the landscape with a playful blend of bushcraft, sculptural installation and inventive construction. Each is tailored to its specific location and surroundings and sits considerately in the landscape. The Howffs provide practical support, with the inclusion of basic materials and equipment, and also encourage reflective and meditative thinking through their design, framed within the land.
A series of events complimented the project, educating folks in the making, the use and the need of the Howffs, including a two day event Gimme Shelter.
A book on the project is currently in the making.

Creative Scotland logo Aberdeenshire Council SSW Henry Moore Foundation

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