Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Nation/Live exhibition at Duff House in Banff

From Historic Scotland (

Explore ‘The Nation//Live’ at Duff House
New exhibition opens at Duff House

An exhibition which explores a number of pivotal moments in Scotland’s history is to open at Duff House in Banff.

The Nation//Live is a pioneering project by the National Galleries of Scotland which saw community groups in five regions across the country paired with a lead artist to explore a particular theme within the context of Scotland’s past.

Historical events, spanning themes including work, roots, union, faith and civil war, were tackled by locals of all ages from Skye, Inverness, Dumfries, Clydebank and across the central belt. Working closely with professional artists and drawing inspiration from historic works of art held in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s collection, community groups and individuals were challenged to create their own contemporary interpretation of some of these key moments, incorporating their own personal memories and stories into their final pieces.

The resulting artworks created will be on display alongside reproductions of works of art from the national art collection which inspired these modern interpretations. These new artworks offer an insight into how contemporary Scots connect with Scottish history.

The two-year-long arts project also saw the involvement of several schools across the different regions. Third and fourth year pupils at Keith Grammar School in Moray, collaborated with Knockando Woollmill to create their own woollen panels, which were then joined together to illustrate their local environment and surroundings. Whilst fourth year pupils at Inverness’ Millburn Academy crafted aluminium medals that represented their own personal identity.

The Nation//Live also spans a number of multi-media platforms, including works that make use of video, music, performance and sculpture.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a film, created by renowned Scottish filmmaker Daniel Warren, that captures all five elements of the collaboration and features all the community groups involved.

This is the first time that the exhibition has been shown outside of Edinburgh, having previously been on show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. It is being brought to Duff House by The National Galleries of Scotland in partnership with Historic Scotland.
Commenting on the exhibition at Duff House, Lorna Ewan, Head of Head of Visitor Experience, Content and Learning for Historic Scotland, who operate the House said: “We’re pleased to welcome this flagship exhibition to Duff House which marks the first in a series of an exciting programme of events at the House over the year ahead.

“The Nation//Live is a truly unique project that explores history with a modern twist and we hope that our visitors will enjoy the pairing of traditional artworks with those created through the project by communities across Scotland.”

Schools can access Duff House and its collections through Historic Scotland’s free education visits scheme. Visiting the exhibition will enable students to gain an insight into Scotland’s past and how it is viewed today through these updated art works, inspired by the national art collection.

Senior Outreach Officer for the National Galleries of Scotland, Robin Baillie, added: “The Nation//Live exhibition is the result of a two-year-long project, the results of which showcase a contemporary view on Scotland’s past.

“Following a successful opening in Edinburgh, it’s a great opportunity to share these unique interpretations in the striking surrounds of Duff House, which we hope are enjoyed by visitors to the House.”

The exhibition, which opens to the public on Thursday 29th January, will run until Sunday 15th March 2015 and is included within the admission price to the house.

(With thanks to Grant Thomson)


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