Su Grierson : Scotland

I am a media artist whose work visually questions contemporary life, specifically in relation to the land. For this project my work is Waterlevel, in which I film the space above and below the level of moving water. The relationship between water and the land is critical within our changing ecology and climate. My additional film Spate captures the huge energy that is both visually spectacular, devastating in some environments, and generally wasted in terms of usable power. The project Confluence of North came about through my previous visits to Japan connecting with Yoshiko Maruyama and her project Spirit of North.

Image Video still from Waterlevel.

Gillian McFarland : Scotland

My interest is in the potential for cultural exchange without the physical impact of travelling. Sharing thinking around what North might be, and considerations across cultures has fed into other areas of my practice and caused a recalibration of my internal compass. I am drawn to collaborative working and processes and the freshness this brings to any research. My Japanese partner seems to share a similar approach and an interest in social practice that I like. I am enjoying the places he is taking me to and thinking about where I can take him in this online collaboration and exchange.

Image Precipitation Catcher McFarland _Hawes

Kyra Clegg : Scotland

The landscape of Scotland and nature, in all its myriad forms, is an ongoing influence in my artistic practice.
Being involved with the Japanese artists in the ‘Confluence’ project offers a challenge in this time of climate change and pandemic to think about our environment within a broader global framework.
In landscape terms ‘confluence is a place where two rivers flow together and become one large river’. Coming together and collaborating with artists whose culture and language differs is an invitation to create new expanded connections and relationships with the ‘more than human’ world.

Image Typography of North Print 50x40cm

Inge Panneels : Scotland

In over 20 years as a practicing artist, interested in place-making projects – working with spaces (buildings and sites) and places (its intangible heritage) mostly explored through the medium of glass and collaborative practices, I increasingly questioned the value of these projects in the context of a sustainable future, both as an artist, and as a citizen. I am also an academic researcher:’Mapping the Anthropocene: an investigation of Cultural Ecosystem Services through artists’ engagement with environmental change in Scotland’ (2020) specifically looked at mapping as a tool for future speculations and considered how culture and nature are fundamentally enmeshed.

Image Claude Glass Snowdon

Maruyama Yoshiko : Japan

I work primarily with installations and painting. What interests me is exploring what kind of creatures human beings are, both socially and biologically. I’m asking the question: How do human beings inhabit the earth, and how should they inhabit it? To find out, I want to meet people from many different parts of the world, identifying what they have in common and how they differ, so as to delve into ‘What makes a Human Being’. As project leader of ‘Spirit of North’, I’m striving for a profound understanding of, and resonance with, people around the world. On this occasion Su Grierson and I worked together to implement the project simultaneously in both countries.

Image detail You Who Are Creation 2019 – 2020
Rovaniemi Art Museum, Rovaniemi, Finland
[Spirit of “North” vol.10: Sensing Faint Resonances]

Takizawa Tatsushi : Japan

This is first time in the ‘Spirit of North’ project that we have been unable to meet and interact face to face, so I wanted to feel closer to the land of Scotland. My partner Gillian and I decided to eat together, exchanging recipes from our respective countries. Then we set out on similar journeys, each in a different land. I see the exhibition, which starts in Scotland and tours both countries, as a kind of journey, and look forward to seeing how the work evolves.

Image Origine _ 2019

Asai Mariko : Japan

I turn towards an unknown world, with its array of differing value systems, and keep trying to catch sight of that which is invisible. Combining all kinds of media – drawing, photography, three-dimensional objects, videography, language, sound, natural light and so on – I create spaces that engage with place and time. Finding poetic and humorous ways to disrupt viewers’ sense of placement, I invite them into an elusive world that runs its course outside of their visual and conscious field. At this time, when what ‘we don’t understand’ has become so apparent, I had the opportunity to speak to my project partner, Inge, although we cannot meet face to face. I would like to create a careful, detailed visual representation of the world that emerges from the overlaps and gaps in my conversations with Inge through the screen, as part of a journey towards an intangible unknown.

Image Detail Movable Mountain, Four stories of a valley 2016-2019 installation view at Tomakomai City Museum Japan

Maruyama Tokio : Japan

Maruyama’s creative activity is based on fieldwork, carried out in the environment that surrounds us today. He creates site-specific installations and performances triggered by the psychological shifts that occur between the territory he has set up, and the perceptions, cognitions and physical actions of the people who share it.He aims to expose the state of civilisation, with its precariously balanced dualities of “existence and disappearance” or “construction and decay”, starting from the shifting “here and now” to reorganise, if only temporarily, the natural and social phenomena that make up our environment.

Image detail “Being There” (performance)
NishiAizu International Art Village, Fukushima, Japan .
Photographer_OHWADA Masaru

Patricia Shone : Ceramics
Invited artist speaker

I have been living on the Isle of Skye for 25 years and my work is informed and inspired by this powerful Northern landscape. Beneath the thin, eroding soils of the Highlands, lies the constant and immutable presence of rock, the form beneath the surface. These two elements of surface texture and form in my work are an expression of the journey towards understanding my place in life. My experience of living in this landscape is part of the continuity of human existence here and is deeply influenced by its Northern location and climate.

image Erosion Jar 14,
h 25cm ø19cm Reduction Stoneware
Photo: Shannon Tofts

Paul Bloomer : Drawing Painting
Invited artist speaker

I was born in the heavily industrialized Black Country of England but have lived in Shetland for almost 25 years. Each of these very different areas have been a key influences in my work by forcing me to embrace paradox and seeming antithesis. Working through drawing, printmaking and painting I explore the threads and connections between culture, nature and spirituality, and specifically the complexity of the human condition alongside the peace and freedom of nature. I work almost entirely by instinct and emotion, letting imagery and narrative evolve as I wrestle with the formal elements of composition and the often-desperate search for visual truth.

image Paul with ‘How then shall we now live’

Mary Morrison : Painter Invited artist speaker

Mary Morrison is based in the Scottish Borders, though originally from the Isle of Harris, and her work is concerned with landscape, mapping and identity. She is drawn to exploring space and light which is particular to the islands in the North West of Scotland and aims to evoke a sense of place through fluid paint effects combined with graphic elements of annotation. Grids, staves, elements of maps and abstract musical notation recur in her work.The sea is a constant theme in her work, and relates to an exploration of identity and geopoetics – the relationship between an individual and the landscape that has shaped them, something you carry with you – a ‘geography of the mind’. Her work suggests journeys, edges, tidal lines – always shifting.

image ‘Arctic Journey’
Oil on paper, 20cm x 20cm

Yunior Aguiar Perdomo : Leader ‘Polaris’ Perth Cummunity arts project

I’m interested in cultural, political, economic and social processes and their impact on our behaviours and identities. I’m currently working on projects that reflect upon cultural processes such as acculturation, assimilation and integration as a way of understanding myself within and beyond the new context of my life in Scotland from multidimensional and intersectional perspectives. For Confluence of North my project explores the first-generation migrant community around Perth and surroundings and the ways we keep specific cultural traditions alive as grounding experiences after emigrating. Originally from Cuba and with more than 15 years of experience working collaboratively as part of the duo Celia-Yunior, I’m now embarking on individual projects and open collaborations building on the work I have done in the past. My work transitions between audio-visual, video installation, data visualization and different documentation methods.

Image detail from Video ‘Polaris’