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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
What is a Shadow Curator? What is a Shadow Curator?

Alec Finlay / Gill Russell / Simone Kenyon / Rhynie Woman / Paul Anderson / Ron Brander / Tim Knowles

Hielan' Ways

2013 – 2016

[T]he plight of a people who have forgotten their myths, and imagine that somehow, now is all there is...
Kate Tempest, Brand New Ancients

The rediscovery of trading routes connecting the Aberdeenshire heartland with Cairngorm Highlands

Deveron Projects invited walking artist Simone Kenyon, internationally renowned fiddler Paul Anderson, Glenbuchat based artist Gill Russell, poet/artist Alec Finlay and visual artist Tim Knowles to respond to the Hielan' Ways in the North East of Scotland.

The Hielan' Ways was once the local name for the routes that connected the market town of Huntly over the Clashmach to remoter districts in the hill country to the west. A network of ancient lifelines; it was a vital link for those who lived along its way, enabling the flow of people, goods and livestock along the tracks between the "Capital of Strathbogie" and communities in the Upper Deveron, the glens of Strathdon, the tributaries of the Spey and beyond. Its distances were covered at walking pace; an area now largely empty of any human dwelling or activity, its heritage and significance is in danger of being condemned to history. We asked the artists, "how can we re-engage with this place?"


The artists walked through the Hielan' Ways, both physically and conceptually: following old pathways and creating new ones, through the genealogy of place names, exploring individual and collective experiences of the landscape,  and composing new sounds from old views.

Historian Ron Brander provided context, local insight and assisted with further archival research of the ancient routes, resulting in his collection of essays on the area: Ower the Hills tae Huntly. A man with a great passion for this landscape, supported by his profound knowledge of the area, Ron unearthed what possibilities and potentials lie undiscovered in this remote landscape.
Check out the individual artist project pages to find out how each artist tackled the project.

The project culminated in the Hielan' Ways symposium, an investigation into the many ways in which we explore the landscape around us.
Our Cultural Health Worker also worked with the Huntly Brownies to explore recreational pursuits practiced on the Hielan' Ways land.


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  • Projects

    Hielan' Ways

    The rediscovery of trading routes connecting the Aberdeenshire heartland with Cairngorm Highlands