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26 January 2022

Visions of Climate Heritage competition Winners revealed

Members of the public across Scotland are toasting success today (26 January) as the winners of the Visions of Climate Heritage Competition were announced.

Capturing scenes of Scotland’s changing landscapes and the impacts of pollution and extreme weather, the competition winners across the categories of Best Artwork, Best Photograph, Best Mobile Photograph and the Young Creative Awards, were chosen by the panel of judges, including internationally renowned climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, for their contribution to Scotland’s climate story.

Best Artwork was awarded to Gemma Lubbock for her evocative painting, titled ‘This is an Emergency’, of a local building in Hawick, Scottish Borders which suffered major damage during Storm Ciara. The town has since received generous investment for flood defences, to protect against the impacts of climate change.

‘This is an Emergency’ by Gemma Lubbock

“I hoped to capture the sheer power in the raging water torrents” Gemma said,

Climate change is having a devastating effect on real people, right now, even here in Scotland. I hope my painting conveys what we're up against, and how we only solve this by working with nature to make positive change.”

First Prize in the Best Photograph category went to Craig Buchan for his striking photograph ‘Cockenzie No More’, which members of the judging panel “couldn’t stop thinking about”.

'Cockenzie No More' by Craig Buchan

“I am delighted to win!” said Craig. “This image is from a personal project called 'Transition', a study of the shift from fossil fuel-based industries to renewable energies in Scotland. The photograph itself is of the moment the two massive chimneys were demolished at Cockenzie power station.”

Second Prize for Best Photograph was awarded to Iain McLachlan for ‘A Tiny Planet’, which was praised by the judges for its striking composition. ‘Oh for a drop of rain’, by photographer JC, took Third Prize in the Best Photograph Category, inspired simply by the low water levels from a prolonged dry spell which demonstrate the fragility of our ecosystems.

The award for Best Mobile Photograph went to Carson Haggart, for his poignant photograph ‘A shop too far’.

In the Young Creative Awards, the winner of the 16-17 years category was Cerys James for her fantastic photograph ‘April Showers’. The award in the 12-15 years category went to Morgan James, 14 for the photograph entitled ‘Our fish are made of plastic’. And 6-year-old Tor Baldorf Pirso was the winner of the Young Creatives 11 years and under category, for his photograph ‘Beach Litter- plastic in the sea’.

Visions of Climate Heritage, which launched to coincide with COP26, has been developed by HES in partnership with the Heritage Trust Network and the Scottish Council on Archives in response to the climate emergency.

The panel of judges who chose the winning entries include Katharine Hayhoe, the internationally renowned climate scientist and one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People; Phil Astley, the City Archivist for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives; Beverley Gormley, Programme Manager for the Heritage Trust Network; Dr David Mitchell, Director of Conservation for HES; and Robyn, a representative from the HistoricScot Youth Forum.

As part of the competition HES has created a crowdsourced online exhibition of photography and artwork, to help tell Scotland’s climate – past, present and future – with the aim to harness the power of Scotland’s historic environment and cultural heritage to inspire climate action. The exhibition is split into the competition’s three themes: ‘The past was a different Place’; ‘This is an Emergency’; and ‘A Greener Future’. View the online exhibition.

Alison Turnbull, Director of External Relations and Partnerships at HES, said:

I would like to extend my congratulations to the winners of Visions of Climate Heritage, our first-ever crowdsourcing competition. We had a myriad of fantastic submissions, and all the winning entries help to tell Scotland’s climate story in their own unique way."

"I was particularly struck by the interesting different interpretations of the brief and the creativity on display from everyone who took part in the competition.

“Our Visions of Climate Heritage exhibition clearly demonstrates the power that our history and heritage have to unlock creativity and encourage us to all think about climate change issues in a different way. We hope that the images that form the exhibition, which are all on display on the HES website, along with the winning entries, will become an important resource for telling our continuing climate story and help to inspire the positive and sustainable changes required on our journey to net-zero.”

Visions of Climate Heritage Competition Winners:

Best Artwork: ‘This is an Emergency’ (This is an Emergency) Gemma Lubbock
Best Photograph 1st Prize: ‘Cockenzie No More’ (A Greener Future) Craig Buchan
Best Photograph 2nd Prize: ‘A Tiny Planet’ (A Greener Future) Iain McLachlan
Best Photograph 3rd Prize: ‘Oh for a drop of Rain’ (The Past was A Different Place) JC
Best Mobile Photograph: ‘A shop too far’ (This is an Emergency) Carson Haggart

Carson said "I primarily entered for fun and just to contribute to the online exhibition, so it was a lovely surprise to receive the news that I won.

That my image came into being is largely down to pure chance. I enjoy going for walks in the country and along the coast and I just happened upon this extremely rusted trolley on one of my more frequent routes. Due to the location, it must have washed in with the tide. There's a problem with smaller pieces of litter but this was quite striking due to its size and state of decay.

I think it's really quite a poignant sight. The message I'd like people to take away from this image is essentially what the entire project was about. We need to pay closer attention to the impact we're having on our planet and back measures to curb it before it's too late."

Young Creatives 16-17 years category winner: ‘April Showers’ (This is an Emergency) Cerys James

Cerys, 17, said “The unpredictable weather we have observed over the past few years is thought to be linked to the increasing global temperature caused by greenhouse gases.

In order to protect our environment from damage we have to find new ways to reduce our impact on increasing the rate of the rise in temperature to help protect our plants by providing a ‘dome’. Plants play a vital role in the ecosystem for providing life on Earth and without them we would see the demise of many species.”

Young Creatives 12-15 years category winner: ‘Our fish are made of plastic’ (This is an Emergency) Morgan James

Morgan, 14 said “My image was inspired by the increasing amount of litter, particularly plastic, entering our oceans. Creatures living in the ocean consume the litter causing detrimental effects to our environment as they almost become the litter consumed proving that ‘you are what you eat’. The plastic microbes enter the fish’s digestive system then become part of the food chain consumed by humans.

I hope my image will spread further awareness of the consequences our actions have on creatures in our oceans and what may happen if we don’t recycle and continue to drop litter.”

Young Creatives 11 years and under category winner: ‘Beach Litter – plastic in the sea’ (This is an Emergency) Tor Baldorf Pirso

Tor, 6 said “I am so happy that I won. I wanted to show how the sea and the wildlife is in danger, so please don't litter.”

About Year of Stories 2022

The Year of Stories (#YS2022 #TalesOfScotland), led by VisitScotland, will be showcased throughout 2022 and will spotlight, celebrate and promote the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland. From icons of literature to local tales, Scotland’s Year of Stories encourages locals and visitors to experience a diversity of voices, take part in events and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present.

Supporting Scotland's Year of Stories 2022 logo

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