Exhibition will celebrate ‘Mearns perspective’

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An exhibition of photographs celebrating the landscape of The Mearns is to be held at the Grassic Gibbon Centre next month.

The photographers include Laurencekirk’s Peter Reilly, Andrew Hall from St Cyrus, and Douglas Cusine from Stonehaven.

Along with Bill Powrie from Bowriefauld, the four amateur photographers are collectively known as ‘The Soothmoothers’, a title placed upon them during a trip to Iceland in 2015.

The four were challenged a year ago by Andy Hall, their photography teacher and renowned photographer from Stonehaven, to stage their very first exhibition. They attended his courses in Stonehaven, then Perthshire. Striking up a close friendship, the Soothmoothers went together on trips to Iceland and Santorini.

The exhibition was originally intended to represent the seasons in the Mearns but it soon became apparent that, at least in 2016/17, there was little weather-wise to differentiate the seasons.

Hence ‘Perspectives’, which is perhaps more appropriate given the differing thoughts and ideas as evidenced by the images.

The project turned out to be more than just practising photography skills as trips around the area highlighted the history behind many places in the Mearns e.g. Kinneff Church where the Scottish Crown jewels were taken from Dunnottar Castle, which was under siege, and hidden in the church walls.

The project provided opportunities to visit Arbuthnott House and its beautiful gardens courtesy of Keith, Lord Arbuthnott; Whistleberry Castle, the lost village of Sheildhill, Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s home at Bloomfield, his grave in Arbuthnott Churchyard, and a boat trip from Gourdon to Stonehaven via Dunnottar on board The Harvester, a ‘prawn boat’ with Ian Balgowan, a Stonehaven fisherman.

Proceeds from sales will be donated to the Grassic Gibbon Centre which is a charity, and exists to preserve the works of Lewis Grassic Gibbon, author of Sunset Song, recently voted Scotland’s greatest ever novel.

The exhibition, called Mearns Perspectives, will be formally opened on the evening of October 6, and will be open to the public between October 7 and 23, 10am to 4.30pm daily.