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2013 Environmental Arts Festival Scotland

In the summer of 2013 Wide Open co produced along with The Stove and Spring Fling, the first Scottish Environmental Art Festival Scotland (EAFS).

Based in Dumfries and Galloway, EAFS aims to evolve into a major national, and international, biennial event which explores the relationship between art and the environment. EAFS  was aimed primarily at engaging with the people of D&G as well as attracting visitors. In addition to the “core” festival, there was a month of small-scale community-based activities across the region.

The best place to see the the activites that took place is


The festival revolved around:

1. Four days, four commissions, four locations

At the heart of the four-day core festival were four main commissions, in four diverse locations spread across this large and beautiful area of south west Scotland. All were specially developed to reflect the 2013 festival them of energy and the land.

Each day will saw a special emphasis put on one of the artworks – making it the focus for a host of other activities and events. Thes included talks, dance, performance, live music, a picnic and a ceilidh.

The four main commissions were:

Cinema Sark, Gretna: By artist and filmmaker John Wallace and soil scientist Prof. Pete Smith of the University of Aberdeen

Fountain, Galloway Forest Park, Grey Mare’s Tail – Clatteringshaws: By 29-year-old Glasgow-based James Winnett

Gimme Shelter, Anwoth Old Kirk: By Dutch environmental artists Pat Van Boeckel & Karin Van Der Molen 

Glimpse, Barony College, Dumfries: By Scottish artists Donald Urquhart and Will Levi Marshall


2.Coastal commissions

The full programme also included a series of coastal commissions. These were sited in different places on the long and spectacular Dumfries and Galloway shores and cliffs.


3. Permanent commissions and environmental art destinations

We also ran programme of trips to existing environmental art destinations and commissions in progress by artists such as Dalziel and Scullion and Charles Jencks and Cecil Balmond, Jo Hodges and Robbie Coleman and Oceanallover.

Debate, performance, talks, gatherings took place at a different focus point throughout the region.  This programme provided an opportunity for relationship building and the development of potential new projects and initiatives.


The next festival will take place in South West Scotland in August/September 2015.

EAFS is conceived as a ‘total artwork’, as such its form and structure will change. Each festival will be informed by the experience of the previous EAFS and by the evolving debate around creative and multi-disciplinary approaches to sustainable futures.

For the 2015 festival EAFS has convened a Creative Production Group (CPG). This has includes the core partners in EAFS – Wide Open, The Stove and Spring Fling together with representatives from Crichton Carbon Centre, International Futures Forum and Do Not Resuscitate (Climate Science/Art collaboration).

The CPG is working on a vision for the themes and structure of EAFS 2015, ideas that are emerging include:

  • Immersive/participative approach to artworks
  • Pilgrimage/Journey as transformative experience
  • Leave taking and bringing gifts to share and taking gifts home.
  • Transformational experience leaving the old way of living and moving into a new consciousness.
  • Deep, high quality and imaginative artistic experiences
  • Playfulness/Foolishness as a ‘serious’ way of understanding the world
  • Hospitality as an art, hosting a cultural and creative artform.
  • Sharing across rural experience
  • hands-on making and collaboration across different disciplines and technologies
  • EAFS as a place that listens