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Seeing the wood and the trees

An old piggery is the unlikely outdoor setting for an exhibition of nature photographs - the latest stage of a collaborative project between Loch-gilphead High and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The latest collection of pictures is a celebration of Taynish National Nature Reserve, an ancient oak wood near Tayvallich in Argyll, rich in wildlife and cultural heritage. Taken by budding young photographers aged between 14 and 16, the photographs are an artistic interpretation of the nature reserve through their eyes.

For the past three years, pupils have worked under the guidance of Lorne Gill, SNH's photographer. He has encouraged them to look closely at their surroundings and pay attention to colours, textures, light, patterns and shapes.

The exhibition will be held in the impressive architectural remains of a 19th century piggery at the nature reserve from 12-15 August. Open to the elements, it offers an unusual opportunity to see art outdoors and is part of the Artmap Argyll open studio trail, which will showcase the work of artists across the region over the weekend.

Snapberry is an art in the environment project launched in 2009 to build the skills of pupils aged 14-16 in creative media. SNH used to provide grant aid to local authorities for projects until the SNP Government, through its concordat agreement, removed ring-fenced funding and gave the money to councils.

The move coincided with a staff training event at Taynish NNR, held by Lorne Gill, which was the catalyst for the joint project with Lochgilphead High.

Since then, pupils have raised pound;2,000 for charity through their exhibitions.

Outside the box

Karen: "Doing Snapberry with SNH has definitely made me think outside the box when I'm taking photographs and has changed the subject matter of my photos. It has also opened my eyes to the natural beauty surrounding us - even on rainy days."

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