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The new Arran Arts Heritage Trail, which was launched this week, really is a splendid piece of work.
Arran has long been known as a haven for artists of all kinds, but to see their work together in one place for the first time really brings home the influence the island has had on painters, photographers, authors and a whole host of other talented people.
The idea for the trail was first mooted around three years ago by the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust, and for many months the team brought in to create it have gone quietly about the business of gathering information, undertaking research and talking to people on the island to come up with the trail.
Each artist has been identified with a place on the island which has been marked by a stone, which itself is made from Arran sandstone. Some of them, such as George Edwards Hering – whose works adorn Brodick Castle – William McTaggart and, more recently, Joan Eardley, are well known, others lesser so. But the trail may help change that.
The fact that the trail can be followed on the island or from afar on the excellent art trail website is to be commended. And the trail is very much the start, rather than a completed work. A publication, with details of all the artists and locations, is nearing approval and the database of artists is ever-expanding.
As the project manager Ruth Impey says: ‘I think we’ve just scratched the surface. Every time we put a full stop on the database, we find another artist influenced by Arran. It’s an ongoing job.’
We wish the project well.