Media Release: Nature exhibition creates perfect backdrop for naturally-inspired storytelling


CONSTANTLY around us and taken for granted, as spring wakes the senses to scenery, a trio of talented artists capture intimate moments in nature.

Sat 30 April – Fri 10th June, 10am-6pm, Free
Nature’s Notebooks – The Art of Landscapes

Gerry Cambridge, Louise Oppenheimer and Joanna Paterson are three artists and poets stirred by the beauty and vastness of the natural world.

They combine their approaches of photography, weaving and selected journal pages to capture the essence and beauty of the west coast of Scotland, as Louise explains:

“My inspiration comes from the landscape of Argyll. I live and work in Kilmartin Glen with the Dunadd crag, the seat of Scotland’s earliest kings, many standing stones, rock carvings and imposing burial tombs as my surroundings. Weather through the seasons, water, rocky shorelines and ever changing light lead me to weave designs which show their roots in nature but can be read by the viewer as abstract patterns or a translation of place and its essence.”

Landscapes change in the light; shapes, colours, contours and images come alive as we look at them and this looking is the beginning of creative transformations. Poetry, weavings, photographs and watercolours emerge from sketches, journals, sudden impulses and scribbles on the margins of the page. Every notebook or journal reflects the shifting ideas and the search for patterns. Be inspired by this wonderful exhibition to take up your notebook, pencils, camera and paints, and make the many connections that are the foundation of creative journeys.

To coincide with the exhibition, the Storytelling Centre has organised an evening of stories inspired by Scotland’s heritage tales, as well as focusing on nature for the Centre’s regular monthly events.

Fri 6 May, 7.30pm (1hr 30mins), £6/£4, Age 12+
From Sea and Shore: Tales from the Celtic Worlds           

Authors and Storytellers, Janis Mackay and David Campbell, invite you on a journey into Scottish folklore, promising tales from days of mighty deeds and wondrous folk. Discover stories of heroism, humour and the shape-shifting scenarios of the mysterious Selkies as David and Janis share yarns to draw you into the whisperings of other worlds. Be delighted, inspired, tickled and transported by the poetic tales and expect surprises as in the legends of the Scots, things are never quite as they seem!

David has reworked great Celtic myths in his popular book, ‘Out of the Mouth of the Morning’, and Janis is the author of award-winning children’s novels inspired by the Selkie legends, ‘Magnus Fin and the Ocean Quest’, and ‘Magnus Fin and the Moonlight Mission’.

Janis follows an evening of tale-weaving with an intriguing workshop which demonstrates how to use your voice to its full potential to bring stories to life.

Saturday 7th May 2011, 10am-4pm, £36 (£32 Network Members)
Voicing the Story

Through a series of breathing, speech, posture and imagination exercises, Janis Mackay teaches simple ways to ensure a healthy, robust, creative and flexible voice. This workshop will introduce you to exercises that can be incorporated into a daily practice rhythm and addresses areas such as clear articulation, healthy breathing, modulation, strength, feeling and colour. With the skills learned you will then apply the vocal work to a story of your choosing – looking at pitch, pause, characterisation, modulation – to effectively make a story your own.

The Centre’s monthly storytelling evening focuses on nature’s glory, promising a mix of tales, music, song and poetry inspired by our environment, while our regular children’s events focus on many of the timorous beasties that live out of sight and imaginings of fantastical creatures.

Wed 11 May, 7pm (2hrs), £4, Age 14+
Café Voices  

Explore nature’s glory with Rosie Mapplebeck. An open-floor opportunity to enjoy oral storytelling, poetry by memory, music and song in the relaxed ambience of the Storytelling Court. Come prepared with a piece or just to soak it up. Hosted by Donald Smith.

Tue 17 May, 10am & 11.30am (40mins), £5 per child, Ages 6 mths – 2 yrs
Tiny Tales

Ladybirds, bumble bees and woolly caterpillars…wee beastie tales, rhymes and puppet surprises with storyteller Ailie Finlay. Lots of gentle joining-in fun! Age six months to two years, accompanying adult free.

Thu 19 May, 11am (45mins), £6 per child, Ages 3-5
Story Space  

Exciting tales of nature and the real and fantastical creatures we find around us. With Eric Brennan. Accompanying adult free.

MEDIA RELEASE posted by the Church of Scotland/Scottish Storytelling Centre. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Lindsay Corr
Phone: 0131 556 9579