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Imagining Natural Scotland is a major new interdisciplinary project for the Year of Natural Scotland 2013. Initiated by Creative Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the University of St Andrews, it will explore the interplay between the natural world and its representation, and promote deep collaboration and knowledge exchange between the creative and scientific sectors.

Significant funds are available for creative project work, leading towards a major international conference in St Andrews on August 27th 2013, and culminating in the publication of a landmark book about the project.

New funding stream

Central to the first phase of the project is a new funding stream for collaborative projects. Teams can apply for up to £10,000 to support work that investigates Imagining Natural Scotland’s key questions:

  • How have the arts and popular culture represented natural Scotland, in the past and the present?
  • How do these artistic and cultural representations shape our responses to the natural world on an emotional, intellectual, social, public and environmental level?
  • What can we learn about the real natural Scotland from these imagined environments? Can these representations provide useful evidence or insights for environmental historians and scientists?
  • What can artists and creative practitioners learn from ecologists, environmental scientists and historians?
  • What lessons can we learn from our responses to representations of natural Scotland for future policy and practice in environmental planning and management?

Project teams must include at least one practitioner from any creative arts background and at least one practitioner with a background in the natural sciences or environmental history who will contribute to and reflect upon the project and collaborative process from a scientific and/or academic perspective.

The creative practitioner will lead the creative work, while academics will be encouraged to guide the investigations and to write about their project, ideally seeking publication in international academic journals. Both parties will also be asked to reflect in writing on the experience of working in collaboration – for inclusion on this website as well as the planned Imaging Natural Scotland publication.

Information Sessions

Imagining Natural Scotland kicks off in March with a series of public information sessions to: introduce the project; explain the funding guidelines; encourage debate around the project’s themes through presentations and workshops; and provide an opportunity for creative and scientific practitioners to network and develop ideas.

Imagining Natural Scotland Conference

Successful applicants will be invited to present an insight into their project development at the Imaging Natural Scotland Conference, which will take place on 27 August 2013 at St Andrews University.

Project timetable

March – April 2013 – Information Sessions

Feb – 29 Apr 2013 – Applications Accepted for Funding  / Website Forum Opens

May – Dec 2013 – Funded Project Work

Aug 2013 – International Conference at the University of St Andrews

2014 – Imagining Natural Scotland Publication

About the website

This website will document all aspects of the Imagining Natural Scotland project as it evolves throughout the year, acting as a resource for potential applicants and telling the story of the funded projects as they progress. It will also provide a forum platform for individuals and organisations from both sectors to find collaborators and discuss their proposals online in the run up to submitting applications.

To stay up to date with the latest developments sign up for regular updates. You can also stay in touch through Twitter or by contacting us directly at admin@imaginingnaturalscotland.org.uk.