Audrey Grant | Arcadia

Inscriptions in Arcadia is a series of twelve site-specific artworks situated in the beautiful and protected area around the Bothkennar Pools, near Skinflats. Visitors are invited to walk on easily accessible paths through this landscape – with its pine trees and lagoons, its reedbeds and fields – and imagine another, the semi-mythical world of Arcadia. 

The artworks at Bothkennar have been created using a combination of found and made objects (a manhole cover, clay bricks, a flag, waymarker signs etc). They have been placed at points on the walk where some trace of the area’s rich industrial and cultural past still exists, be that 17th century farming or 19th century heavy industry.

These simple, but strategically placed, objects have been further transformed through inscriptions from classical mythology evoking the Greco Roman Gods of the underworld, the pastoral and the sea. Also the lyric poetry of Sappho, the Xth Muse, who wrote about love, longing and the beauties of the natural world.

The site can be accessed from several different points, and the artworks experienced or discovered in any order. They invite you to take a personal journey of transformation, awakening yourself to past, present and imaginary landscapes through the act of walking.

Look out for way-marker signs and interpretive maps to help you enter and navigate this real and imagined world. 

Search amongst the trees and undergrowth for signifiers of the area’s rich industrial past, including an old mining shaft, the remains of steam-engine housing and a brick works.

View the lagoons from a re-named screen and contemplate their similarity to Lake Avernus in Italy, the ancient name for an entrance to the underworld where birds flying over were destined to fall dead. Today the birds thrive. 

Consider the line of trees that marks a 19th century rifle range, the nearby information about wildfowl shooting, and a wooden signpost used for modern-day target practice. 

Don’t miss the found object that indicates Bothkennar’s farming heritage, or the flag flying over the seawall that marks the site of a long vanished 18th century mansion.

Sitemap for Arcadia

Details of Works:

Inscription, gold vinyl lettering on composite aluminium sign panel

God of the Underworld
Inscription, engraved jewelers brass, gold spray paint, used manhole cover

3. Et in Arcadia ego
Inscription, Letters carved on stone, Barony Pit steam engine platform housing
with Simon Burns-Cox

4. Map of Arcadia
Reproduced imagined map on DiBond board

5. The Fluted Land
Inscription, gold vinyl on found enamel jug (Bothkennar area)
and gold spray paint on found garden edging (Bothkennar area)

6. Arcadian Notes
Inscription, gold paint
15 found shotgun cartridges (Bothkennar area), 
12 cast in jesmonite and iron powder, acrylic dispenser

God of Nature
Inscription, gold vinyl lettering on composite aluminium sign panel

8. XTH MUSE, I used to weave crowns
70 inscribed face set smooth clay bricks, gold paint

9. Spangled is the earth with her crowns
Inscription, gold paint on wooden post and notice board

10. Map of Arcadia
Reproduced imagined map on DiBond board

Inscription, gold vinyl lettering on composite aluminium sign panel

12. Neptune
God of the sea and freshwater
Inscription, gold transfer on 6oz nylon flag, flagpole


I have received a huge amount of support, encouragement and help to realise this project and would like to extend my gratitude and special thanks to the following people 

Mary Paulson-Ellis 
Lorna Fraser
Elaine Brown
Rachael Pollitt 
Jack Kinross
Lesley Sweeney, Ranger Service, Falkirk Council
Graeme Legge, Raeburn Brick, Blantyre for their generous donation of bricks and firing
Dr Catherine Mills, University of Stirling 
Ian Walker, Historic Environment Scotland
Gordon Sutherland, Sutherland Farms for grass cutting and permissions
Ronald Pollock, Pollock Farms for permissions
Nature Scot for permissions

To Anna Perks, Bio-Diversity Officer, Falkirk Council who embraced my ideas and helped make it possible for them to happen in the area in and round the Bothkennar Pools. And to Rosy Naylor  and Forth Valley Art Beat for all their support and awarding me this wonderful opportunity.

Links to Downloads for Apps:
Landscape Legacies of Coal Mining
Forth Valley Art Beat Event App

View rest of ‘ArtCycle’ project commissions