Art Projects

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The Lochcarron Treehouse.

copyright Sky1 2011
The Official Photograph ( copyright Sky 2011 )

In The summer of 2011 and amazing thing happened to our community. Our local Development Officer Kristine MacKenzie is working with the Kirkton Woodlands and Heritage group to restore the Smithy Heritage centre, set up a crafts centre, and to buy out a local forest to help stop rural decline, creat jobs, housing, opportunities and sustainabilty in the area. She had heard that there was going to be a TV series and a competition to build a community treehouse. The woodlands group charity already own a small wooded patch where i used to have my pottery studio. Kristine asked me if I could do some design sketches within a couple of days to submit. One of the sites I liked was two large larch trees by the Ribhuachan River, where a bird hide previously stood. The river floods in spate so I put the building on stilts up between the two trees, with access via a ramp from the raised river bank. I drew big windows out over the river view and a stove to keep everyone warm.


The production company liked the pitch, liked the idea that prehaps a community like this could help galvanise the community towards the forest buy out. So they sent someone up to view the site, interview people and make a short film the next week to take to the Director and crew. We gathered some school children and interested people & explained why this area needs an inspiring community venue. We were chosen as one of the final three projects.

Within eight fast weeks everything happened, it was a lot of work. the crew came up a couple of times to film around the site, talk to the community and get the architects designs done.
before the treehouse
At a meeting one night I re drew up some ideas based on what everyone else wanted from the building, jamming designs around a table; we wanted it round like a crannog or hut circle, we wanted big windows for lots of light, we wanted a shelter from the rain, and indoor and outdoor space. I hastily drew this up that night to show to the director and presenter Charlie the next morning early.

The last week of August was the build week. The whole structure was to be built in only five days! It was not without its challenges!

The TV programme was first aired on 12th December 2011 on SKY1 - It has recieved widespread coverage in the press and on BBC online.
Members of the community gathered at the Carron Restaurant to view the programme together. It has been an amazing project, lots of people have worked incredibly hard on it. It will be available from spring 2012 to hire out for classes, events, meetings, photoshoots etc. All funds will go towards the Kirkton Community Woodlands buy out.
The lochcarron Treehouse
The Lochcarron Treehouse Logo that I designed.

My blogs about the project;
11th July - initial designs
20th July - Getting the bid
10th August
- Design reveal
25th August. - Call for volunteers
31st August - The build week
3rd september - End of Build
17th September - workparty
4th November - more finishing
23rd November - TV date
12th December - We're on TV !