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Bringing art to the community: artists and residents combine to make stunning sculptures

 

Artworks added to the popular Corbenic Poetry Path

A group of Hungarian artists have collaborated with residents from a Perthshire care home to create four landmark new sculptures for a path showcasing Scottish poetry.

Four students from Budapest School of Fine Art travelled to Corbenic Camphill Community near Trochry in August, living for a month alongside the staff and the community’s 43 residents.

While at Corbenic they worked with the residents, who have varying support needs, to produce sculpted artworks, adding to the Corbenic Poetry Path which is popular with visitors.

The 3km circular Poetry Path near Trochry village, which opened in 2015, showcases the work of contemporary Scottish poets and sculptors, many living in proximity to Highland Perthshire.

One of the new sculptures, a 40m high depiction of a bird set into grass, was modelled on a resident’s hand drawing, with fellow community members helping the artists with groundwork.

The results of the creative collaboration are set within moorland landscapes and woodlands on the banks of the river Braan and are open to the public to view.

Residents helped the artists move the finished pieces into place and the sculptors were assisted by stone carver Martin Reilly, whose work appears in the Gallery of Modern Art.

One of the sculptures, which towers above a lochan, was carved entirely from a single storm-blown tree and now stands tall again in a bog against a heather backdrop.

Community director Jon Plunkett said: “The residents helped the students by digging out lines for the land art, which is the bird set into grass, just as they did in the creation of the path itself, wheeling wheelbarrows of materials.

“The Poetry Path was initially just a boundary path skirting around the community but thanks to the generosity of poets and sculptors has become what it is now. The residents have a real sense of pride in it because they helped create it, the community uses it and it is also a way for the public to see some of the work that goes on, in the community.

“The new sculptures are a great addition. The students had a great time creating the sculptures and want to return. Similarly, the community love the sculptures and want the sculptors to return.”

The tie-up with the Hungarian sculptors Tom Laneury, Kelemen Gerstenkorn, Anna Anna Boglárka Tóth and Zsuzsanna Szentpéteri was made possible by a previous community connection. The wife of the students’ tutor, Professor Geza Salai, volunteered at Corbenic Camphill Community for a year, at the time the Poetry Path was being constructed.

That personal link between the community and the school in Budapest has led to students arriving annually at Camphill Corbenic.

As part of the exchange, artists receive food, accommodation and materials while the wellbeing of the community’s staff and residents is enhanced by the opportunity for creative collaboration.

The emphasis on creativity to enhance community life has, in turn, seen Corbenic supporting opportunities for artists.

Since the pandemic, the barn at Camphill Corbenic’s on-site farm has been adapted as a venue for poets, cabaret acts and musicians and even a 22 piece string orchestra.

Singer-songwriter Vance Foy, who has played with Elton John and Ed Sheeran, recently starred there, citing the venue as memorable, with swallows darting around the rafters as he played.

 

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