Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network – September Newsletter

By bellmannews / September 5, 2022
blue sky and crisp horizon with barely visible wind turbines glinting in the sun

If this has whetted your appetite to take part, all the information you need can be found below.

All workshops concentrate on your personal experience of wellbeing in the natural world, whether that is from walks you take, sitting at home with the window open, or being in your garden. No artistic experience is needed to take part.

The workshops are seven weeks long. Block two runs from week commencing 5th September through to the week of 17th October. Don’t worry if you can’t make every session, no one did in block one! We all lead busy lives and understand things come up and events may already be in your diary. It doesn’t matter. Each course meets once a week for a two-hour session. The writing group meets online on Zoom. If you don’t know how to use Zoom, we will teach you so you are fully confident. If you don’t have a computer or smart phone, we will lend you a smart phone so you can participate. If you need help getting to the in-person sessions, we may be able to help provide transport.

All courses are led by interdisciplinary artist and project leader, Carrie Fertig, except for nature writing, which is led by award-winning author Janis Mackay. All of the courses are a safe supportive space to try something new or hone your skills.
Audio: Mondays 9:30-11:30am in Stonehaven, a different location each week. All things sound! We will make field
recordings of the natural world and how to make the best recording, how to edit and layer them. Opportunity to
make podcasts for three radio stations, as well as your experience of wellbeing expressed through sound on the
Nature Writing: Mondays 2:30-4:30pm via Zoom. Using examples of nature writing and poetry by famous authors,
we have 2 exercises in each session and respond in 10-15 minute bursts of creative writing.
Art in Nature: Thursdays 9:30-11:30am, Stonehaven, a different location each week. You’ll learn interdisciplinary
skills making temporary site-specific sculptures in the landscape using natural materials, performance, and installation. There will be an overview introduction, then led by areas of most interest to students.
Video + Imagery: Thursdays 2:30-4:30 in Stonehaven, a different location each week. Concentrates on making imagery as both practice and documentation of wellbeing in the natural world. We will shoot & edit video, make photos, drawings, and collage with natural and tradition materials.
Virtual Reality (VR): Learn to build your own natural environments in the headset. You are largely housebound,
have some dexterity in your thumb, index, and middle fingers, and don’t smoke. Lots of 1-on-1 tuition scheduled at
your convenience, VR is ongoing into 2023 to give you the skills to make your own experience of wellbeing in the
headset. We’ll meet in person at yours and in the headset. It is fun, exciting, and the constant learning and discovery you will experience builds confidence and wellbeing.
For more information call or email Carrie on 07966 689833 or
More information is available here:
A final word from Sheila, who’s writing, “Remembering…” is included in the newsletter.
I am Sheila Lanning. I am a Gentle Exercise leader for the Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network. I have
recently been involved with the “Nature Writing In The Mearns” workshops led by Janis Mackay, as part of artist
Carrie Fertig’s Health of the Sublime in the Mearns project. I have no experience of writing, other than previously at
school and maybe now a shopping list or a “To Do” list. I love reading and always like to take on challenges and
trying new things. I’m slightly dyslexic, so wasn’t sure how comfortable I would be taking a writing course! Well! I
enjoyed every minute and surprised myself. The short exercises of writing for 10-12 minutes each week, listening to
other folks pieces about nature, finding new authors, meeting new people, being enveloped in new words,
expressions and language has truly been a glorious 7 week journey. Janis was so encouraging and the whole
experience felt very safe and comfortable. The course was conducted on Zoom- so I didn’t even need to travel
anywhere! And it was free!
For more information call or email Carrie on 07966 689833 or
Alternatively call Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network on 01561 378130.
More information is available here:
This project is funded by Creative Scotland