Wednesday, 23 September 2009

NEOS - Art in the North East

There's an annual arts festival in the northeast of scotland called NEOS (North East Open Studios). We visited some of the studios and galleries on a fine weekend. Many artists choose to live and work in fishing villages like Gardenstown. It's typical of fishing villages on this coast, built on a narrow strip of land between the sea and the cliffs with the gable ends of the houses facing the sea. Some of the villages originated as a result of people being cleared from the inland areas to the coast - a process more usually associated with the west coast.

Gardenstown is a fascinating warren of narrow passages and steps on a steep slope. Between the houses there are tiny but sheltered areas where subtropical plants can be grown.

The harbour is comparatively large, and these days has more leisure craft than fishing boats.

This is Pennan. The village is famous as the setting for the film "Local Hero". Most of the houses seem to be holiday homes now.


  1. Just found your Blog and enjoying some of my old haunts like Gardenstown and Pennan. Is the coffee shop/ photography gallery still in Gardenstown? How is the landslide at Pennan - read about it here in Canada.

  2. Hi Jackie, the gallery/coffeee shop is still in Gardenstown; and lots of other artists seem to have set up there too. The cliffs at Pennan are still pretty unstable, but the big news this week is that there's been a large landslip at Bervie Braes (Stonehaven) which has forced the evacuation of most of the homes there.

    Kind regards