Glen Scotia has announced a new partnership with Scottish artist Alice Angus, who will create a series of artworks showcasing the distillery.
She will highlight its remarkable place in the community, at this year’s Campbeltown Malts Festival, from 24-26 May.
Since January, Alice, who was born in Ayrshire, has spent days drawing in the distillery and around Campbeltown, on Scotland’s west coast, to absorb its essence and take inspiration for her final four works commissioned by Glen Scotia, which was crowned Distillery of the Year at the Scottish Whisky Awards 2021.
The Spirit Safe exhibition will pay homage to the town’s legacy in keeping the precious liquid under its care and artistically bring to life the knowledge, engineering and ingredients involved in the creation of the ‘golden spirit’ that matures in Glen Scotia’s warehouses. It will also uncover aspects of the heritage, people, landscape and wildlife of Campbeltown and celebrate the renaissance of the town on the international whisky-production map, which Glen Scotia has been championing for years.
Spirit Safe will be unveiled on 25 May and free to enter, will be exhibited around Glen Scotia’s distillery with accompanying plaques sharing insights from Alice’s unearthing of the area. Alice will also attend the event to share tales of her adventures in the town with the hundreds of visitors who make the trip every year.
The exhibition will be on show for the run of the Festival before being displayed at the distillery until early June. Glen Scotia also has plans to produce a small batch of limited-edition bottles with Alice’s artwork printed on them as a lasting commemoration of the event and partnership, with liquid information and a date for release due to be unveiled soon.
Like whisky production, Alice’s technique involves patience, time and experimentation. She uses pencil, watercolour and ink to draw from life, spending a long time observing her surroundings through sight, sound, smell and touch, often waiting for the right moment, drawing similarities with the time and craftsmanship required in whisky-making. Some of her works are completed on-site directly from life and others are developed in her studio into larger-scale artworks.
With a keen curiosity in her natural surroundings, Alice Angus was educated at Glasgow School of Art before relocating to London. However, she remains forever inspired by Scotland and splits her time between the two places. Her body of work includes works on paper, video, audio and textiles and ranges from large curatorial, collaborative projects to individual commissions, public artworks, community projects and research. She has undertaken residencies and projects in many places, urban and rural, from Lancaster to the Canadian Arctic.
Launched in 2008, the Campbeltown Malts Festival is a three-day celebration of the region known as the Victorian Whisky Capital of the World due to its illustrious past and the role whisky-making has played in the town for centuries.
Glen Scotia’s full programme of events is available to view via its website and includes a host of experiences centred around its drams including exclusive distillery tours, dunnage tastings and delicious food and whisky pairing sessions led by master distiller Iain McAlister and the distillery team alongside whisky writers Charles Maclean and Becky Paskin.
Alice said: ‘I am interested in the social, cultural, natural histories and heritage of places with a particular fascination in landscape and environment. Combining my love for Scotland and my interest in the intricacies of whisky production, the partnership with Glen Scotia is completely fitting.
‘I’ve been given the warmest welcome at Glen Scotia and been allowed to spend a lot of time drawing in the distillery, observing the everyday workings, sounds and smells, studying the artistry and dedication of the team that work there and marvelling at the combination of ingredients, chemistry, engineering, craft and knowledge that is involved in whisky production.
‘I’ve spent time drawing in the town, on the harbour and bay as winter changed into spring; in all weathers, I have been inspired by the people, wildlife and surroundings I have encountered. I’m excited to unveil my work at the Campbeltown Malts Festival later this year and hope to meet visitors and hear their stories about the distillery and the town.’
Iain McAlister, master distiller and distillery Manager at Glen Scotia, added: ‘The Campbeltown Malts Festival is a fantastic opportunity for us to highlight what makes the town and our distillery such a remarkable place in the world. Last year, we held it virtually because of the Covid restrictions, so we are particularly thrilled to showcase life in Campbeltown to international audiences once more with Alice at the helm documenting what makes our home so special. Between the weather, landscapes, community spirit and Alice’s exceptional artistry, we are looking forward to an exhibition with plenty of Campbeltown character.’
For further information about Glen Scotia and regular updates on the Campbeltown Malts Festival, visit www.glenscotia.com.