Tiny Lichen & Mosses Inspire Award Winning Ceramics

Rising From The Cracks, Lorna Fraser Photo Shannon Tofts

In our latest Voices of Makers blog AAS Member and ceramicist Lorna Fraser shares her experience of winning the inaugural Scottish Landscape Sculpture Award for a new work inspired by mosses and lichen discovered during a residency on the Isle of Eigg. The Scottish Landscape Awards Exhibition is open at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre until 3 March 2024. Details about the next Scottish Landscape Award below.

I am delighted to have been selected as the Winner of the Scottish Landscape Sculpture Award and a £2,000 commission to create the first prize trophy sculpture
for the 2025 Scottish Landscape Awards. This is a lovely prize and I’m thrilled that
the commission will be featured in the next Scottish Sculpture Award exhibition. The
winning work, Rising From The Cracks, is new work which is inspired by the tiny
mosses and lichens that grow in abundance all around us, but largely go unnoticed.
It was particularly exciting as this is the inaugural Scottish Sculpture Awards
exhibition and I am very proud to be included in such a wonderful exhibition which
covers two floors of the City Art Centre in Edinburgh.

My porcelain work is inspired by the botanical world and most recently by mosses
and lichen which I first discovered after research in the Herbarium of Royal Botanic
Garden Edinburgh. In September 2022 I received a Bothy Project/Visual Arts
Scotland residency
on the Isle of Eigg for a week, my project being to look for
mosses and lichens which Eigg has in abundance. I spent a week with just a hand
lens, camera and sketch book. There I was surrounded by an incredible majestic
landscape with spectacular views looking across to Isle of Rum, and all the time I
was looking down at tiny plants underfoot. One day I discovered a myriad of
different species colonising an ordinary looking boulder. However, when I looked
more closely with my hand lens an amazing tiny landscape revealed itself and it just
blew me away. I would encourage everyone to get themselves a wee hand lens and
start looking at these plants, you won’t be disappointed! Rising From The Cracks is
directly inspired by my residency on Eigg.

The innocuous boulder (above) that blew me away on Isle of Eigg; plus just a few of the mosses that I observed on it.

It was my good friend, Gerry McGowan, who encouraged me to apply for the
Landscape Awards. I had been thinking about applying but wasn’t sure if my tiny
ceramic work was appropriate because my traditional idea of landscape was of vast
seascapes or dramatic mountain scenes. Gerry, who is a painter, made me
promise to apply and I’m so glad I did. The whole concept of the awards is to look
at landscape differently and to challenge our expectations. It’s a wonderfully diverse
exhibition which includes photography, printmaking, ceramics, film, textile, artist
books and willow, as well as traditional landscape painting. The winner of the grand
prize is an exquisite work that depicts the Bass Rock and is constructed from
woven Scottish musical scores – the artists, Kate Davis and David Moore, took a
year to make it.

I would recommend folks to visit the exhibition before it closes on 3rd March2024 and
definitely encourage AAS members to apply for the next Landscape Award which
will be in 2025.

Here’s what the Scottish Arts Trust say about the award:

The Scottish Landscape Awards is a biennial event open to anyone over 16 years
born, living or studying in Scotland, and for works in any media. The judges were
Barbara Rae, David Mach, Ade Adesina, Marian Leven and Jane & Louise Wilson
and there were over 2,800 entries of which 133 were selected. The awards as
conceived by the Scottish Arts Trust encourage “an environment where landscape
is a springboard for investigation, experimentation and discourse”.

Scottish Landscape Awards Exhibition
4 November 2023 – 3 March 2024
City Art Centre, Edinburgh. Open daily 10am – 5pm, free.

Leave a Reply