Scotland’s largest veterans’ charity launches new sculpture trail in Erskine Veterans’ Village Park
Scotland’s largest veterans’ charity, in partnership with creative organization Luminate, has launched the Erskine Sculpture Trail on the grounds of Erskine’s Veterans Village in Bishopton.
The trail consists of 10 sculptures, created by artists-in-residence Gill White and James Winnett in collaboration with Erskine residents and launched on August 31.
Nestled among the trees in the peaceful surroundings of the Erskine Estate, the Sculpture Trail is a testament to the creativity and joy that residents experience in working alongside artists to create a lasting exhibit. The sculptures are inspired by nature, memories and stories of the people of Erskine, to create an interactive experience.
The Luminate project was designed with the aim of engaging in new ways with locals and showcasing artistic talent. Luminate and Erskine have worked together since 2017, originally through a program called Unforgotten Forces, a partnership of 16 charities supporting elderly veterans across Scotland.
James and Gill were the first resident artists and worked closely with Erskine residents on a wide range of creative pursuits, from photography to poetry and soundscapes to painting. Although interrupted by the pandemic, they returned to Erskine in the summer of 2021 to complete the art trail project.
Photo: The trail consists of 10 sculptures nestled among the trees in the peaceful setting of the Erskine Estate
Photo credit: Jamie Williamson
Photo: Artists Erskine at the Gill White and James Winnett Residence
Photo credit: Jamie Williamson
Creative activities, like the ones Gill and James brought to Erskine, play a valuable role in resident care. Participants reveled in the true sense of accomplishment that these new activities brought them.
Derek Barron, Director of Care at Erskine, said: “Today’s unveiling of the Erskine Sculpture Trail reminds us of the many happy hours our residents, from our four homes, have experienced during their time with our very first artists in residence, Gill and Jacques Our residents all have different abilities and live with things that impact them, whether it’s living with dementia, reduced mobility or loss of autonomy or trust.
“Erskine has always had an extensive program of social and recreational activities to support the well-being of residents, but we lacked the expertise on art and artistic expression that Gill and James provided. Working with Luminate, Gill and James have brought to Erskine such a comprehensive and colorful range of arts activities that our residents love.
Anne Gallacher, Director of Luminate, said, “Collaborating with Erskine residents and staff has been a joyous experience not only for artists Gill White and James Winnett, but for all of us at Luminate. The stories, experiences and creativity shared by everyone involved in the project have been inspiring. There is growing evidence of the positive impact of the arts and creativity as we age, and Luminate’s work across Scotland shows the important contribution professional artists can make to quality of life. and well-being of the elderly. The Erskine Sculpture Trail is a wonderful example of the creativity that can be sparked when artists and care home communities come together.
Artist-in-Residence Gill White said, “James Winnett and I have created ‘Art Adventures in Nature’ which celebrates the world around us by fostering playful exploration and outdoor creativity. We came up with the idea of creating a sculpture trail in the forest to encourage a place where residents, staff and locals can meet, be active and explore different works of art embedded in the natural landscape.
“It was a real pleasure to spend time with each resident learning about their lives and tailoring each workshop to their interests with an emphasis on creating a fun and relaxed environment to learn new processes and embrace the exploratory nature of creativity. We had a lot of fun together and I found time spent with Erskine residents, loved ones and staff to be a very happy and rewarding experience, both personally and creatively.