Community Boxes and Book-Making Projects

By following the links below, you can see a selection of some of Jan's favourites.


Creating Assynt

Creating Assynt

The geology of Assynt is overwhelming to the eye, with  great mountains such as Suilven and Quinag dominating the skyline.  The people who live and work in amongst these huge slabs of rock have a close relationship to the land, one  which is largely unspoken. 

In the summer of 2014, the local community were given the opportunity to express their close connection to and understanding of this landscape through a series of art and writing workshops, led by local artist Jan Kilpatrick and visiting writer Christian McEwen.   They  visited three locations - Knockan Crag, the Bone Caves and Little Assynt  Community Woodland - on each occasion, gathering impressions and inspiration for their own creative response. North West Highland Geopark officers  and a member of staff from Coigach and Assynt Living Landscapes (CALL) acted as field guides. 

Ullapool High School

Ullapool High School on the Summer Isles

In June of 2013 I was invited by Ullapool High School to join their S2 pupils on a John Muir Award experience on Tanera Mor, the Summer Isles.

The John Muir Award is given to young people who discover, explore and learn ways of conserving the environment.  One other important part of that experience is finding a way of sharing their learning and experience with others and so I went along to help the group do just that.

Over the course of four days the pupils explored the island and the waters around it, by walking, beach-combing, kayaking and more.  I encouraged them to keep a 'memory journal', which had the title of "A Sense of Tanera".  This was essentially a notebook, with sketches and other impressions gained as they experienced the life of the island through using all of their senses.

Newtonmore Book Making

Newtonmore Gaelic Unit

In  September of 2013 I  was invited by Dr Joyce Gilbert, Education Officer for the Royal Geographical Society of Scotland, to take part in an innovative project which encouraged school pupils to connect to the land through the art of traditional story-telling.  

The pupils had already enjoyed visits from professional story tellers, including someone of the travelling tradition, and had heard stories from the past related to their own culture and place.  They had then gone on to develop their own stories using all the essential ingredients - details of the landscape, mysterious characters and magic!

I visited Newtonmore Primary School Gaelic Unit to help add a new dimension to these newly acquired story-telling skills.  Whilst the main focus of the project was to encourage the art of oral story-telling, my job was to help the children present their stories in an intriguing visual form.

Creating Assynt

Kingussie High School

During the summer term of 2010, along with a wide range of people whose work connects them to the landscape - artists, writers, musicians, survival experts and others -  I joined S2 of Kingussie High School on a series of creative journeys into the local landscape.

The larger project was conceived by Dr Joyce Gilbert, Education Officer for RSPB Scotland.  My small part involved me in taking a circular walk with a small group of pupils, up into the hills above the town.  I encouraged them to take note of whatever drew their attention and to reminisce about times they had been there before or any other connections that came to mind.  My aim was to get them to create a landscape of memory, an entirely different way of mapping a place, but one which I hoped would encourage and enrich the pupils' relationship with their own surroundings.

Email :    Tel : 01854 666279,   Postal Address : Jan Kilpatrick, Cul Mor, Elphin, By Lairg, Sutherland, IV274HH.

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