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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
Where in the world is Huntly? Where in the world is Huntly?

Mary Jane Jacob



[T]he local is the ultimate universal, and as near an absolute as exists.
John Dewey
Travel, hospitality and art in the public realm

"At the core of Fernweh is a longing for an undefined, perhaps transcendent freedom, but one that may lead to critical reflection, both on oneself and also on one's surroundings that will also return to the question of community." Simon Ward

Fernweh: Literally translated, Fernweh (from German) means  ‘farsickness’ or an ’ache for the distance.’ Some dictionaries also translate it into ‘wanderlust’ or ‘itchy feet’. Antonyms: Heimweh (homesickness).

Fernweh was a train travelling symposium of eight curators from Europe and the Americas across rural Scotland in 2013. During their journeys they visited villages, towns and art venues around the country to investigate the relationship between place, hospitality, collaboration, distance and the urban-rural, as well as other matters. 


Four curators with a keen interest in socially engaged art were invited and each of them had selected one younger/emerging curator interested in the above issues. Participating Curators were: 

Mary Jane Jacob, USA and J. Gibran Villalobos, both School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA

Luiz Vergara, Director, Museo de Arte Contemporanea, MAC, Niteroi, Brazil and Jessica Gogan, MESA (Mediation, Encounters, Society and Art), Brazil/Ireland

Ernesto Pujol, Cuba/USA and Nuno Sacramento, Director SSW, Scotland/Portugal

Claudia Zeiske, Deveron Projects, Scotland/Germany and Gayle Meikle, independent curator, Glasgow/Scotland

From 30 April they travelled across Scotland on trains, visiting other art organisations, to include SSW in Lumsden, Timespan in Helmsdale, ATLAS on Skye, IOTA in Inverness discussing the notions of:

1.         Conversation + Dialogue

2.         Community + Place

3.         Travel + Remoteness

4.         Urban/Rural Dialogue 

On Saturday 4 May they came together in Huntly for a final symposium reflecting on the above themes within the topic of Hospitality + Visiting.

Over the course of this trip and the final event they jointly produced a publication between travellers and hosts that aimed to define what they meant by socially engaged art.


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