Art inspires East Church visits
23 June 2012
The East Church has hosted some interesting visits this spring and early summer, including two inspired by art.
The first was from the community of Braemar, who are keen to develop their redundant episcopal church, St Margaret’s, into an arts centre. Although much younger that the East Church, dating from the 19th century, St Margaret’s is also a fascinating and significant building, having been designed by the architect John Ninian Comper in an English Gothic style. The Scottish Redundant Churches Trust is closely involved with the diocese, the Braemar community and the Princes Regeneration Trust in seeking a new use for the church that is compatible with retaining its integrity.
The visit from Braemar was to look at how Cromarty has encouraged the arts and visiting artists over the years, and to learn what benefits that has brought to the town. The general message of ‘nothing ever seems to turn out quite how you expect it’ didn’t seem to deter them! The visit included a trip to Cromarty Stables, developed as an arts venue by the Cromarty Arts Trust, a meeting with various people involved in the arts in Cromarty - including the Old Brewery and the Cromarty and Resolis Film Society and a much enjoyed visit to the church.
The second visit was a little less planned. A tuition day led by artist Philip Hughes was organised by Cromarty Arts Trust. The plan was landscape drawing, but the weather that morning decided otherwise and so the East Church became a landscape in miniature and a perching place for a dozen or more artists each with their own style.
The drawings shown are by Alice Taylor, who has got to know the church well during the conservation work, but this is the first time she has drawn it. Alice was obviously inspired by the church candelabra, as it reaches a rather magnificent length in her illustration.
The next event at the church will be a fantastic concert to round off the Black Isle fiddle festival on Saturday 7 July at 8pm The musicians are Anna Massie and Mairearad Green and all female fiddle group 'Rant' who will be performing live for the first time. All the musicians have a fantastic reputation in their own right - so it's an evening that is definitely not to be missed - but don’t forget your woolly cardigan!