The red on white sign was adopted by Claudia Zeiske, Director of Deveron Projects to be displayed outside their office in Huntly's main square for the whole of 2017. At the end of the year it was sent down to England to take up residence outside BOM in Birmingham.
At Deveron Projects in 2017 our projects included: Andrea Geile’s Energised Landscape, mapping energy sites and consequences in and around Huntly; Jacques Coetzer’s Room to Reinvent, initiating the People’s Cafe as a space for community consultation regarding town regeneration and new economies; Manaf Halbouni’s What If?, working with Syrian resettled refugees on a play reimaging the Sykes-Picot Agreement which divided the Middle East in 1918; Walking Without Walls which connected local artist Rachel Ashton with Palestinian artist May Murad in Gaza, through a digital residency exploring landscape in their respective places; Claudia Zeiske’s Home to Home secular pilgrimage from Huntly to Munich, challenging what home means in a contemporary world; and Town is the Garden, a community growing scheme.
Ellie Harrison’s Early Warning Signs complimented our programme of projects that are both globally significant and locally relevant. Placed outside our offices in January 2017 the Climate / Change sign stood the test of all weathers this year, both atmospheric and political.
In particular, it was a relevant addition to our Energised Landscape Slow Marathon. This 26 mile walk took in the energy sites of Huntly’s landscape and involved discussion surrounding alternative systems of energy and the social and environmental impact of climate change. 80 people participated in this walk, ranging from aged 11 to late-70s, and all finishing to the last mile. With Andrea Geile’s route interpreting how our landscape has changed in the last 50 years, Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun solar lights being given to each participant to collect solar light throughout the day, and Ellie Harrison’s Early Warning Signs at the door of our office to greet people on their return, the event achieved Deveron Projects’ continual aim to balance art and community.
What might be worth considering in the future, to further the engagement of this project is adapting the manual to different types of organisation. At Deveron Projects, we don’t have gallery visitors, we have an audience made up of our town, visiting artists and specialists, interested students, community groups and passersby. Some more interpretation for different generations would have been useful: while older people found humour and understanding in the reinterpretation of the signs which once stood outside Bureau de Change locations, our younger audiences were not as familiar with this symbol.
We would suggest some kind of education pack, instructing organisations such as ours how we might create one or two events or activities throughout the year to maximise the engagement of this object.
We would like to thank Ellie Harrison for the creation of this environmentally-aware project and for including us in its touring. We hope we can work with Ellie again in the future.