Creative Connections: Wildlife Mapping

Tue 24 Jan - 28 Feb (6 weeks)

Creative Connections is a series of free creative workshops for adults over the age of 60 in the Western Isles who feel isolated as a result of their circumstances – be it Covid-19 restrictions, geographical remoteness, disability or any other disadvantage.  If this applies to you, you can book any of our Creative Connections workshops.   You can make a booking for a friend or family member if they are eligible and would like to take part.

Wildlife Mapping with Elaine Smith.

In this workshop we will consider how we can explore alternative ways to creatively respond to our own experiences and curiosity about wildlife in our environment.

Each week we will experiment with a range of mixed media and look at different approaches to mapping using images gathered from walks, views of your garden, working from memory, considering what different ways we can record and express our sightings, for example, weather, seasons, calendars, folklore and any other elements that are relevant to your interests.  We will even make use of a trail camera which, with your input, can be positioned in various locations each week, secretly capturing images and videos of whatever is roaming that we might not usually get to see.

The results will be within sketchbooks, on paper, and in the form of simply made concertina books, from your own unique perspectives and experiences, working together, exchanging knowledge and ideas, and at an individual pace so you can feel supported within your own creative practice.

*This series of workshops has now begun. If you would like to join for the remaining sessions, email*

The sessions will be delivered via Zoom and a link will be emailed to you.  All you need is a device with an internet connection and a clear work-space.  You will receive a pack of art materials before the sessions.  Please ensure that your address is correct on your An Lanntair account when booking.

As a visual and socially engaged art practitioner with 9 years of experience, Elaine Smith seeks to galvanize interactions and communication through creative activity, working with people on both short and long-term projects, in group settings, 1-1 and online. Creating spaces where people feel connected and valued are at the core of her practice.    The projects she creates consider who is participating, their needs, and why; encouraging collaborative processes wherever possible while supporting individual creativity to flourish. As a painter and printmaker, drawing is always integral to Elaine’s visual art practice which is based on gaining an understanding of lived experiences within communities and our relationship to our environment. She is currently a freelance practitioner while studying for an MA in Art and Social Practice, UHI Shetland College.

Creative Connections aims to:  Reduce loneliness in social isolated older adults in the Western Isles through regular creative and social online arts opportunities; Improve mental health and wellbeing for isolated older adults through positive creative experiences and conversation in the language of their choice; Increase the number of opportunities for people to be creative and to develop visual arts skills.