Red Dot trail carves its name on tourist map

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Colin Cameron

Artists from Glencoe to Kilberry opened their doors for the 12th annual Artmap Argyll Red Dot trail, and the weather helped make it a successful sunny event.

Over two weekends starting on Friday August 23, more than 40 talented artists, sculptors and creative types of many different disciplines encouraged visitors to come along and see what goes on behind workshop and studio doors.

Helping visitors find the studios around deepest Argyll was the familiar Red Dot booklet, mapping each participating artist’s location around the region.

One couple, Les and Jeanette King, sitting at home in Houston, Renfrewshire, were looking for something to do – and the Red Dot guide sparked an idea.

‘It looked like it was going to be a nice weekend and we had heard about Artmap, so we thought we would head for Argyll and see what it had to offer,’ explained Jeanette.

The couple’s Red Dot adventure took them to Venue 39 on the Red Dot trail and the studio of sculptor Melanie Chimielewska at Castleton, near Lochgilphead.

Melanie was busy carving one of her trademark pieces, sinuously formed representations of sea creatures and swimming.

She moved to Argyll from the north of England around 15 years ago and has become established as a popular exhibitor around the region, her tactile pieces perfectly capturing the essence of swimming.

Visitor Les, an engineer, couldn’t resist having a go and, as Melanie handed him an off-cut of Maltese limestone, he soon worked his magic – and carved his name, Les, in stone.

‘We’ve been to similar open studio events in different parts of Scotland,’ said Jeanette, and the Red Dot trail here has been really enjoyable. We have been round a few artists, the weather has made a big difference and it’s been well worth coming.’

Look out for a second Artmap Red Dot open studios event over the weekend of Saturday August 31 and Sunday September 1, between 10am and 5pm.


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A work in progress – Melanie working on her latest piece, made from Maltese limestone. 51_a35ArtmapMelanie02

Melanie has a fondness for seals, and she represents them beautifully in stone. 51_a35ArtmapMelanie04

Visitors Les and Jeanette King admire Melanie’s tactile creations. 51_a35ArtmapMelanie08

An engineer at work. Les carves out his name. 51_a35ArtmapMelanie10