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Scottish Landmark artwork on display at James Hutton Institute

Scottish artist Annie Cattrell with Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of
Scottish artist Annie Cattrell with Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute
“We are delighted to host Compass. The work of our scientists also reflects exchanges between places and timescales that go beyond the human lifespan. Our land, soils and associated crops and biodiversity are the product of many different factors but with geology and topography at the base and formed over the course of millennia”

Until July 2022, the James Hutton Institute’s Aberdeen site will host Compass, a sculpture by Scottish artist Annie Cattrell that draws inspiration from Scottish geology and James Hutton’s Theory of the Earth, specifically Siccar Point’s Unconformity.

Compass won the Scottish heat of Sky Arts’ Landmark series, which sees artists from Glasgow to Guildford create a new wave of Great British public art. Six heats have taken place across the UK, each spotlighting three artists competing to create local landmarks for their home region or country.

Annie Cattrell was born in Glasgow and studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art, University of Ulster and the Royal College of Art. She is an interdisciplinary artist, and her practice is often informed by working with specialists in science and at geologic locations.

About Compass, Annie says: “I would like to continue the ideas that I started near Inverness with the sculptures FAULT and SEER, both of which were cast directly from the geology at either side of Loch Ness. Each side of the loch are distinct land regions, called the Northwest Highlands and Grampian Mountains, that were formed from two tectonic plates converging and forming what has become Loch Ness.  

“In his Theory of the Earth, James Hutton proposed the idea of a rock cycle in which weathered rocks form new sediments and that granites were of volcanic origin. At Glen Tilt in the Cairngorm Mountains, near to Loch Ness, he found granite penetrating metamorphic schists, this proved that granite was formed from the cooling of molten rock. As a result of this and his many observations regarding geological timescales Hutton’s remark ‘that we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end’ has changed many people’s view of the world.

Compass references the tectonic movement and specific locations using a cross axis/map co-ordinates and profile of the land near Loch Ness or in London. It also addresses the relationship that humans have, in terms of how measurement relates to location. Also, how we understand geological deep time and are affected by the landscape and location of where we live.” 

Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, commented: “We are delighted to host Compass. The work of our scientists also reflects exchanges between places and timescales that go beyond the human lifespan. Our land, soils and associated crops and biodiversity are the product of many different factors but with geology and topography at the base and formed over the course of millennia.

“As in Hutton’s time during the 18th century Enlightenment period in Edinburgh, art and science can complement each other to mutually inspire and so we are very happy to host this thoughtful and inspiring art work at the James Hutton Institute.”

Compass can be visited by the public at the Institute's site in Craigiebuckler, AB15 8QH on Wednesdays during business hours. Due to the Institute's COVID protocol, registration is necessary. Please email info@hutton.ac.uk to register.

Landmark is airing on Monday nights at 8pm on Sky Arts, and the series so far is available for catch up on-demand and on streaming services.

Press and media enquiries: 

Adam Walker, Communications Officer, James Hutton Institute, Email Adam.Walker@hutton.ac.uk; +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard). 


Printed from /news/scottish-landmark-artwork-display-james-hutton-institute on 28/10/21 12:02:20 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.