Make Your Way to Chatelherault - Arboreal Exploring
Taking in the landscape to the north of Chatelherault Country Park with Owen Clarke.
Make Your Way explored and highlighted access routes into Chatelherault County Park, going from Hamilton, Larkhall and Quarter. Six artists were given the chance to undertake residencies with local groups groups including: Hamilton Ramblers, Larkhall and District Volunteers, Universal Connections Larkhall, Quarter Primary School, Clydesdale Colts and Blantyre Cubs. The artists' work culminated in Celebration of the Land events held across Chatelherault and the surrounding area.
Artist, Owen Clarke, explored the route from Hamilton via Barncluith into the park, heading out on very crisp walks with the Hamilton Ramblers during some of the coldest and sunniest days of winter 2017-18.
Owen's walk took a number of intriguing turns, asking participants to imagine walking with their ancestors and focus on their experience of the outdoors as children. This led one person to recall how their father had taught them how to identify certain tree types - and led the group all to wonder if this kind of knowledge is still as readily and widely known.
Springing from this, Owen's second workshop with the Ramblers focused on making and representing aspects of Chatelherault, involving a mixture of painting and creative skills. The Ramblers contributed to a mobile that drew on key words of their walking experience.
Inspired by the Ramblers' terrific contributions and participation, Owen organised his event - as part of the Make Your Way artists' Celebration of the Land weekend on the 24th/25th February - designing an Arboreal Walk with temporary signage nearby the Barncluith access route that detailed native tree types. These beautiful signs were a point of fascination for many passing walkers in the park, providing information about the types of native trees, and their associated symbolism or myths.
Make Your Way connects communities in Hamilton, Larkhall and Quarter with Chatelherault Country Park. It is supported by The Scottish Government, Paths for All and Transport Scotland Smarter Choices Smarter Places grant, and South Lanarkshire Council LEADER and Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland supported Clyde and Avon Valley - CAVLP.