Monday, September 17, 2012

out of the loop (for a while): Scotland View

At the recent Edinburgh Art Festival, I took a tour with Anthony Schrag who was commissioned as Tourist in Residence for the Festival. His series of participatory tours invited participants to engage with the city in different ways. This particular tour was called A Guide to Being a Tourist in Edinburgh.
One part of the tour involved walking along Princes Street Garden, a very busy area of Edinburgh, very SLOWLY, then STOPPING suddenly for no apparent reason, then POINTING to something. It also included going to the top of the Scott Monument, then stepping out blindfolded, at the top, to have the view described. Later, we were able to look at the view, through a mirror.

Another section of his tour involved a 4 and a half minute tour of the Talbot Rice Gallery. We walked through exhibits of contemporary work and the historical collection glancing briefly at the artworks while Anthony gave us an animated and fast audio tour. It was brilliant and hilarious while considering how, as tourists, we strive to see it all, do it all. 

While living in Edinburgh for the year, I have been 'doing' galleries and the city, but have also been going on hiking excursions out of the city with a walking group. My latest walk was a Munro in the Trossachs area. (A Munro is a mountain in Scotland with a height over 3,000 feet. There are people known as 'Munro baggers' whose aim is to climb all the Munros; there are 282 Munros in Scotland, and 227 further subsidiary tops.) 

One of the things I love about the Scottish landscape is the sheep dotting the hills. They seem to eat incessantly. I like their watchful presence. They remind me not to 'do' it all.

Photos by Sandra Gregson