Argyll’s Secret Coast, so named because of its undiscovered beauty, is about to have its cover blown.
Tucked away, close to the village of Colintraive on the Kyles of Bute and just a two hour drive from Glasgow is Caol Ruadh (pronounced ‘col ‘ru), home to a unique outdoor gallery where art and nature have been perfectly integrated.
Caol Ruadh (meaning red house on the narrows) is an imposing landmark on the Kyles. Formally a residential home for 60 years and now home to the Scotland family, the resurrection of this once neglected 20 acre estate has been a labour of love for owner Karen Scotland. After years of planning, Karen’s long held ambition to create a sculpture park in the grounds of the estate was realised last year, when she and business partner Anne Edmonds, opened Coal Ruadh to the public for the first time.
With uninterrupted vistas over the Kyles as well as concealed, intimate settings among a maze of winding tracks which entwine and appear to evaporate throughout the dense woodland, Caol Ruadh is unlike the traditional sculpture garden set in rolling parkland. Here, you can lose yourself in an extraordinary and mesmerising world of art and nature where sculptures either draw you in from a distance or magically appear beside you. With ever changing weather patterns affecting light, mood and colour and the sounds of the sea and woodland understory, Caol Ruadh provides one of the most perfect locations for art you will ever experience.
The ethos of Caol Ruadh Sculpture Park is to promote and sell contemporary artwork produced in Scotland, as well as exhibiting artists’ installation works. Started with the concept ‘if you build it they will come’ adapted from the film Field of Dreams, Karen and Anne set about looking for sculptors and installation artists all over Scotland producing work they felt could cope with the outdoor environment.
The theme for this year’s exhibition is Maritime supporting the exciting event of the Fife Regatta taking place on the Kyles of Bute and Argyll coastal waters. Once again, Caol Ruadh is collaborating with the Tighnabruaich Gallery, which specialises in contemporary Scottish art.
This year’s exhibiting artists are:- Ruaridh Allen, Tom Allan, Helen Denerley, Melanie Chmielewska, Fanny Lam Christie, Guy Elder, Lorna Fraser, Andrea Geile, Su Grierson, Hironori Katagiri, Trevor Leat, Shona Leitch, Dugald MacInnes, Andy McClintock, Illona Morrice, Mies Murphy Steegers, Tim Pomeroy, Jenny Pope, Johannes Sailer, Paul Stallan, Frances Sutton, Kate Thomson.
A few of last years installations remain; Kevin Dagg’s popular Ebb and Flow is still on the beach, now inhabited by barnacles and sea creatures; Emma Herman-Smith’s giant footprints Tread Lightly and Dugald MacInnes’ slate sculptures ‘of hunters and of gatherers.’ One of Rob Mulholland’s figures from his Tide Flow – Time Flow installation also remains, now re-homed within the woods.
The gallery will be open from May 5th until August 31st, Thurs – Mon 11am – 6pm, Tues CLOSED, Wed by appointment.
Admission Adults £3, Children free.
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