Get on the trail

If you fancy a day out that combines art with a bit of exercise, then choose one of the art sculpture trails that have appeared in the city and shire this autumn. There are two to choose from, Clan’s Light the North Trail features 45 2.5 metre tall decorated lighthouse sculptures, while Banchory’s Violin Trail has a dozen violin sculptures celebrating the town’s musical associations with traditional Scottish fiddle music composer Scott Skinner. 

Local cancer support charity, Clan, have partnered with Wild in Art, to create Light the North, which will see lighthouse sculptures on show throughout the city, shire and as far afield as Moray, Orkney and Shetland until October 17th. The distribution of the sculptures reflects the geographical area where Clan provides support services to those with cancer and their families. 

There are 45 artists taking part including well-known local artists like Gabi Reith and Shelagh Swanson as well as artists from further afield, each of whom will bring their own take on their sculpture design. Up in Shetland, artist Yolanda Bruce’s work will be on show at Sumburgh Head lighthouse, particularly appropriate as Yolanda’s parents both worked as lighthouse keepers. 

If you’d prefer a shorter trail, then head to Banchory for the Violin Trail, which runs until 27 September. There are a dozen violins designed and decorated by local artists, who have taken inspiration from nature, folklore and local heritage to create striking sculptures which pay homage to Scott Skinner. Skinner was born in Banchory in 1843. The ‘Strathspey King’ is recognised as one of the greatest violinists and composers of Scottish traditional music, composing many tunes which are still played worldwide. 

Crathes Castle forms the inspiration for several works on the trail, with Christopher Sharp taking the estate’s apiary beehives as his subject while Beverly Black’s design looks at the changing seasons at the castle. Sisters Isobel and Rachel Tame take the annual Banchory Show as their theme, while Beatrice Charnley has used yarn to decorate her piece. 

Other artists, such as Lucy Brydon, Jodie Bews, Elspeth Winram and Kevin Andrew Morris focus on the area’s beautiful scenery and wildlife, while Iris Walker-Reid looks to the past with her piece featuring maps and old photos of Banchory Station. Astrid Bjorklund and Roselyne O’Neill’s pieces draw on folklore and mythology, while Jan Leatham’s Bonnie Banchory celebrates the work of Scott Skinner. 

You can download a map of the violin trail at banchory.org. 

In both cases, the sculptures have been sponsored by local businesses and organisations and will be auctioned for charity at the close of the event. Details of the Clan Lighthouse auction are available from lighthousekeeper@clancancersupport.org while information about the Banchory Violin action is available by e-mailing sssqevents@gmail.com. 


When visiting any sculpture which is located indoors, please remember to check opening times for individual venues ahead of your visit and adhere to any guidance in relation to face coverings, number of visitors in premises and social distancing requirements at each of the venues.

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