Ancient Rhynie

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On Saturday past, Deveron Arts hosted an event; Ancient Rhynie, with musician Aidan O’Rourke and archaeologist Gordon Noble. The welcome of specialists in varying fields and a widening of the net to more than visual arts practitioners, allows knowledge and interest to be shared. Deveron Arts deals with a multitude of themes and concepts through its utilisation of resources and involvement of contacts. To understand visual culture, we must expand beyond ‘art’, even if we are applying it back to art.

Aidan O’Rourke is the current artist in residence and will be visiting Huntly at intervals over the next few months with the intention of recording a record in culmination.The writing and composition of this record will be in response to issues of land ownership, abandoned settlements and the human imprint that remains. Imprint/Abandon involves Aidan O’Rourke exploring abandoned settlements such as Pictish landmarks in Rhynie, and spending time with historians, archaeologists and interested locals.

The welcome of specialists in varying fields and a widening of the net to more than visual arts practitioners, allows knowledge and interest to be shared. Deveron Arts deals with a multitude of themes and concepts through its utilisation of resources and involvement of contacts.

The Ancient Rhynie event showcased the range of skills of those involved and working with Deveron Arts. Gordon Noble explained to all 25 of us trundling up Tap O’Noth about the Pictish sites and histories, Aidan O’Rourke performed with his fiddle for an audience after a disussion with Noble, the collective Rhynie Woman offered an impressive spread of food, made with the inclusion of locally foraged ingrediants, and local musicians such as Jake Williams and Steve Brown made up a makeshift ceilidh band for an evening of dancing and spinning (emphasis on the latter).

Aidan O’Rourke will be working with a set of other musicians for the Imprint/Abandon recording. This will be sessioned in Huntly and released later in the year. I intend to gain further insight into this musical residency when I interview Aidan on Monday for the Deveron Express.

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