During 2013 we held six artists’ moving image residencies in the Ettrick Valley, Scotland. This was followed by a screening at the 2014 festival, called Ettrick Dreaming, of some of the works made during the residencies.

2013 Residency details:

Each residency was four weeks in duration and was held from 1st to 29th October 2013.

• For non-EU / international participants, travel expenses up to £500 were covered. For UK participants, a £500 fee was available.
• Accommodation, food and living covered.
• Free participation in six artists’ film and moving image master-classes.
• Free accommodation in the Scottish Borders, Scotland.
• Opportunity to show work at the 2014 Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival.
• There was no application fee.

Travel to and from the residency location was the responsibility of the participant.

Participants were chosen by an independent jury. The jury included Kim Knowles (experimental film programmer for Edinburgh International Film Festival), Gareth Evans (film curator at Whitechapel Art Gallery), Richard Ashrowan (Creative Director of Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival), Keith Alexander (former BBC Arts producer) and Laura Simpson (Programme Manager at Hospitalfield Arts and assistant curator at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design).

The Residencies:

Our 2013 moving image residencies were aimed at stimulating production and developing talent specifically in non-narrative or experimental artists’ film. They were supported by Creative Scotland’s Creative Futures programme.
The residencies took the form of single group residency for six artist-filmmakers, held in the Ettrick Valley in the Scottish Borders countryside in October 2013.

A core component of the residency was the inclusion of several expert master-classes/Q&A seminars with artist filmmakers of international standing. The aim of these master-classes was primarily to stimulate new avenues of creative thought through the sharing of experience and skills. We aimed for a residency culture of conceptual learning and development, personal reflection and experimentation. Screenings of work preceded the master-classes, and subjects covered ranged from practical production techniques to conceptual development, to distribution and film festival promotion. Regular informal experimental film screenings and discussions were held throughout the residency period.

There were no fixed expectations related to the production of work, though a screening opportunity at the next Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival was available to residency participants who had completed work by April 2014. The residency was an opportunity to develop and reflect, while simultaneously exploring the work and ideas of other practitioners. It was an intensely focussed period of time in which the artists learnt, experimented and had the freedom to take creative risks.


The Scottish Borders is a beautiful region of Scotland, approximately one and a half hours drive south of Edinburgh. It is a remote, exceptionally quiet and sparsely populated region, with a wide and open landscape dominated by hill farming (sheep), rivers and commercial forestry. It is a deeply historic area, once home to the infamous, lawless ‘Border Reivers’. The residencies will be situated in the remote Ettrick Valley. This valley has been a home and source of inspiration for several artists and writers – most notably the ‘Ettrick Shepherd’- James Hogg (1770 –1835). Hogg wrote the astonishing ‘Confessions of a Justified Sinner’, along with many other fine works. He was friendly with Walter Scott, who is also known to have visited the valley. In a more contemporary context, the abstract artist William Johnstone (1897–1981) lived and worked at the head of the Ettrick Valley. The painter Tom Scott (1854–1927) also lived and worked close by in the Yarrow Valley. The valley road is a dead-end road, with the wonderful Over Phawhope Bothy just beyond its end. This bothy has been used for several arts projects (even screenings) over the last few years.



Sarah Biagini
Sarah Bliss
Priyanka Chhabra
Melanie Dutton
Lin Li
Samantha Rebello

The Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival Residencies are part of Creative Futures, a Creative Scotland talent development programme which aims to promote the professional development, capabilities, connectivity and ambitions of Scotland’s creative practitioners and organisations. Please see and for more information.

These residencies are kindly supported by:
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