Saturday, 23 April 2011

Scottish highland artist Lynn Bennett-Mackenzie

Scottish highland artist Lynn Bennett-MackenzieBorn in 1967, Lynn Bennett-Mackenzie is an established artist living and working in north west Scotland. She was brought up in the remote rural areas of the Highlands of Scotland. Lynn studied at Gray’s School of Art graduating in 1990 and now has a workshop/studio on a picturesque croft, from where she also operates a thriving framing business She works in various media – oils, mixed media, watercolour & pen & ink. Her work is evocative of the Highlands and is inspired by the light, colours & stories of the area as is particularly evident in her pen & ink drawings. She has shown work in various exhibitions and taken part in community and international projects including The Big Picture, Wild Wood , Landfill art, and was recently invited to attend an International Art Symposium in Russia. Her work is innovative, original and versatile and she aims to capture an essence of emotion in her work, drawing the viewer in to the story that unfolds. Her work is intuitive and comes from within, drawing on her experiences from where she lives and from places and people she meets & visits. Her latest works focus on the invisible connections between us and the world at large. She is fascinated by the notion of what is around us that cannot be seen but often felt by some, faith, and the way people interpret consciousness & reality. Her work has been described as having a gentle beauty, softness and light and dynamism. Lynn hopes that her work will make people more aware of their own internal power and our ability to adapt and change.

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Andy the Daft Hermit lives 45 minutes outside Inverness with his wife Mel in an old bus parked in a layby. This current home of theirs is the longest they have ever stayed in one spot. “I’ve been travelling now 25 years,” said Andy Lowe. “Mel’s been travelling 15. One of the reasons we’ve come and stayed up here is because of Mel’s health. I wanted to bring her to the mountains for fresh air and clean water and just a slower pace of life.” Mel has had breast cancer twice, skin cancer once, and for three years believed she had bone cancer after being wrongly diagnosed. Andy’s belief in the restorative powers of the north made them pack up ‘The Black Bus’ that they live in and cross the border into Scotland. New Highland home for hermit couple Andy and Mel “I think we both believe in trying to get to a more simple way of life,” said Andy, “but it’s strange for us because we are sort of hermits, or we like to live separate, but it’s not being anti-social… it’s just the way we are that allows us to be creative.” Andy first began travelling when he left the army. Fed up with bureaucracy he packed a rucksack and left for France and has been travelling ever since. By investing any money the couple have earned into solar panels and wind generators they now live a self-sustaining existence, without electric bills, and collect rain water “straight from Heaven”. “It’s not easy,” said Mel. “There might be time when there might not be enough facilities around, but you always find a way, you know?” Rather than rejecting technology, Andy blogs about his travels online and collaborates with artists from around the world via his ‘Scratchy Heid Film Studio’, which he runs from a static trailer next to the couple’s bus. He explained his philosophy: “My belief is that if you can go through life and you drop dead and you’ve got a balance there that slightly outweighs the good than the bad, you’ve done alright. “Yesterday, with what Mel’s been through with the cancer and all that, I had a woman on one of my sites there that thanked me for the writing, for the positive things, and to me that’s worth everything. You can keep your millions, we’re not interested. That is what we do.” To check out Andy’s artwork and video projects check out his website. MORE FROM THE NORTH

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