One of Scotland’s most remote and spectacular locations is to be recorded in 3D.
A team of experts from the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV), a partnership between Historic Scotland and Glasgow School of Art, have travelled to the UNESCO World Heritage site of St. Kilda to begin digitally laser scanning the site, which lies 41 miles off the Scottish mainland.
Work is expected to take two weeks and will include scanning of the physical make up of St. Kilda as well as the main structures on the islands such as the blackhouses and 19th Century dwellings in Village Bay. The team will also record the more remote archaeological remains of the Amazon’s House and Callum Mor’s House.
The site is being laser scanned as part of the Scottish Ten project, a ground breaking initiative which uses cutting edge technology to digitally record all five of Scotland’s world heritage sites and five international sites in order to better conserve and manage them.
By using the most advanced laser scanning technology, the team can develop exceptionally accurate, down to the millimetre, 3 dimensional archival records of some of the world’s most spectacular heritage sites. This can be used to monitor changes to the structures as well as providing the basis for remote access, education and interpretation resources to allow a much wider audience to experience many of the world’s heritage sites.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said:-
“The Scottish Ten is a hugely important project, not only for Scotland but also on an international basis.
“Heritage crosses boundaries and tells the story of peoples and nations. Scotland’s expertise in digitally documenting historical sites is providing tangible benefits at both home and abroad and this project will continue to increase our understanding of and help to better care for heritage sites around the world.
“St Kilda is a truly fascinating site by its very remoteness, its stunning landscape and the physical landmarks left by the people who shaped it and I very much look forward to seeing the results of this ground breaking work.”
As part of the trip the team will be using terrestrial laser scanners, GNSS devices and 360% photography to digitally create a detailed 3D model. This will take the form of a two week period of fieldwork followed by processing, examination and interpretation of the data.
David Mitchell, Director of Conservation for Historic Scotland said:-
“St. Kilda poses a number of challenges for the team in terms of its physical make-up, however that it what makes it so exciting.
“We plan to conduct phased fieldwork over the course of the trip which will look at the island’s geographic environment as well as some of its most recognisable structures.
“The technology will allow us to record a never seen before level of detail into the island and its structures which we hope will greatly enhance our understanding of St. Kilda.”
The team has also commissioned airborne LiDAR scanning of the islands which has never been attempted before.
Doug Pritchard, Head of Visualisation at Glasgow School of Art said:-
“The LIDAR scanning has the potential to bring a new dimension to our knowledge of St. Kilda.
“Many parts of the islands are inaccessible by foot so we are looking at accessing a number of areas that have never been surveyed before which could provide some really interesting material about the island and how it developed.”
The island is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland who in partnership with the Ministry of Defence and Scottish Natural Heritage runs a continuing programme of conservation and research on the islands.
Susan Bain, the National Trust for Scotland’s St. Kilda Property Manager said:-
“We are delighted to welcome representatives from Historic Scotland and Glasgow School of Art to St. Kilda.
“This technology has the potential to increase our opportunities to share the island with a much wider audience than ever before and we very much look forward to receiving the finished data.”
Friday 22 April saw Glasgow’s art lovers flock to the top floor studio at uber-cool hangout, The Art School, to witness a special exhibition of recent work by artists Jackson Marlette and Robin Leishman.
The two students in their final year at Glasgow School of Art put together the unique event, calling it By All Means Necessary, in a matter of weeks, and greeted the many guests with a cold beer and a polite eagerness to discuss the concept for the exhibition:-
“The idea was to show that massively differing personal inspirations can sit side by side in a harmonious habitat through linking imagery,” said Robin.
“We wanted to show that art doesn’t need to be consciously curated together to work collaboratively in this sort of space. There just needs to be an overlap in passion to allow the work to make sense together, and in our case what links our work is the psychology, imagery and military motifs.”
Indeed, walking into the exhibition space, sparse but for the adorned walls, visitors were confronted with two very different fine art styles.
Jackson Marlette’s work used primarily paint and spray paint on canvas (materials that are sometimes considered ‘primitive’ in a contemporary sense), and focused on memory and paranoia.
The most striking aspect of his work was the imagery of guerrilla militia and live arms, set against a background of vivid primary colours and erratic brush strokes to create a contrast between the unsettling and the childish. Needless to say, the result was disturbing, yet captivating.
Like Jackson, Robin’s work also focused on childhood and memory, however the materials used in his case included photography, and pine and steel etchings.
A favourite among visitors was a mural of photographs showing toy soldiers carrying a wounded comrade away on a stretcher. The photos had been stitched together with thread to create one large, touching scene.
Robin said: “I wanted to explore the relationship that we all form with inanimate objects in order to stimulate an organic memory of the past.”
“It’s privately a shrine to the memory of my father. By using the military toys that he once played with as a child, I was hoping to create a bridge to a man that I never knew by developing a relationship with his possessions, and using their motifs to engage in a visual dialogue.”
If the effect of By All Means Necessary was to show that different styles of art can exist in the same space harmoniously, linked only by one single inspiration, then the brief was undoubtedly met.
Guests at the exhibition marvelled at the unique notion of a joint showcase, and Leishman and Garrett have certainly caught the attention of Glasgow’s art luvvies, which will surely stand both artists in great stead for the future.
You can next see Robin Leishman and Jackson Marlette’s work displayed at the Glasgow School of Art’s Fine Art degree show from June 11- 18.
Scotland’s leading innovation in conservation and digital technology will be showcased at the World Creativity Forum in Oklahoma City on 16th and 17th November.
David Mitchell, Director of Conservation at Historic Scotland and Doug Pritchard, Head of Visualisation of Glasgow’s Design Studio have been invited to present their work in digitally documenting and visualising cultural heritage. Their work came to international attention when a joint team scanned the four presidents of the United States at Mount Rushmore this year.
This is part of the Scottish Ten project which uses cutting-edge technology to create exceptionally accurate digital models of Scotland’s five UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites and five international sites.
Scotland is a member of the Districts of Creativity, a network of 12 creative and innovative areas stretching from the USA, through Europe to India and China. The forum will bring together participants from 34 US States and 14 countries who will be focusing on a number of topics looking at creativity and innovation.
Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture said: “It is great to see Scotland showcase this innovative technology on a world stage.
“This cutting-edge digital technology will help preserve important historic sites for future generations and will encourage the development of new international partnerships in the areas of culture, tourism and technology.”
David Mitchell said; “The international community knows Scotland for its culture and perhaps for its technological innovation in the past – we are keen to show that Scotland remains a dynamic and innovative country that is respectful of its cultural heritage but can also use it as a springboard into the future.”
Doug Pritchard said: “Glasgow School of Art and Historic Scotland have created a wonderful partnership which brings together two public bodies and in some respects divergent skill sets to create something innovative and exciting. As a Canadian with Scots blood it is exciting for me to part of this and continue the legacy of innovation – Glasgow School of Art is known the world over and we hope for a positive reception”.