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2 Apr 2024

Creative Freedom exhibition opens

Artists and special guests meet at our Wild Space gallery in Pitlochry to celebrate the launch of our Creative Freedom exhibition.

Creative Freedom exhibition launch March 2024

As part of our 40th anniversary celebrations last year, we invited artists from all disciplines to submit artwork that demonstrated what ‘freedom for wild places’ meant to them to our Creative Freedom exhibition. 

We received over 400 entries from all disciplines - including paintings, photography, movement art, comic books and much more - all inspired by the freedom of wild places.

The best entries, as selected by our panel of experts, now form a Creative Freedom exhibition that celebrates the relationship between nature, creativity and advocacy and showcases the skill and passion of people around the UK.

In mid March, our shortlisted artists were invited to join members of our selection panel for a small preview event at Pitlochry's Wild Space visitor centre.

Director of Development and Communication, Kevin Lelland, gave a short speech emphasising the calibre of creativity on show. He then congratulated the top artists in each category announced the overall winning entry - Lizzie Wood's graphic novel Solastalgia (pictured below).

Creative Freedom - Lizzie Wood & Solastalgia 2

Solastalgia was inspired by a solo trip Lizzie took to Glen Feshie, not long after moving to the Highlands. As an incomer, she had always held Scotland as a perfect vision of all that is natural and wild - until she came across the old forest of Feshie. This experience undid many of her preconceived ideas about landscape, wilderness and culpability and she captured this journey of understanding in Solastalgia. 

Lizzie says wild places reflect her choices and actions. “As a human, I have the freedom to go into the hills to find joy, peace, solace, sadness... I act according to my freedom. But when I avoid a muddy hollow in a path and erode the peat beside it, or when I scratch my crampon over exposed rock, who speaks up?

"Freedom for wild places is freedom from destruction and degradation. When our freedoms to, negate those freedoms from, there are no freedoms to be found at all."

Author Polly Pullar - and member of the Creative Freedom selection panel - said Lizzie’s work stood out as an exceptional piece of work that transcends boundaries: "Not only are the words appropriate and extremely thought-provoking, but the accompaniment of exceptionally high quality, sensitive pencil sketches and the presentation of the whole in comic form, brings a really freshness to the whole.

"I loved Solastalgia for the way it broke the mould.”

Words and photographs by Heather Graham.

Hand and flowers - David Lintern

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