October 29, 2020

When will we respect Scottish landscapes?

Claire Burnett

InstallationRemnants, 2019

Scotland has a reputation globally for its beautiful landscapes, however, less than 5% of our ancient Caledonian forest remains. I visited, absorbed, and documented both the Blackwood of Rannoch and Rothiemurchus remnants of the ancient land. I came to a conclusion around one of the central reasons for difficulty in considering Scotland as a ruined landscape; what’s left is still genuinely captivating. In the remaining pieces of forest it is easy to be absorbed and overlook the problems. It is also normal within society to see stretches of fields as areas of beauty, however, after learning about the impact that animal agriculture has had on the loss of wild forest, I can only see them as wounds. I built my own immersive space. Replicating the feeling of being engrossed within nature, the space moves you through the wilderness. However, using mirror fragments, the image is shattered showing the reality of the situation facing the last remaining genuine wilderness in Scotland. Nature is seen as idyllic and an ‘escape’, especially from city residents, when really we should have a much deeper level of respect. I built a space that overcomes the flat and pictorial level of gratitude, breaking through into understanding.