Fernweh was a project instigated by Huntly-based Deveron Arts, which ATLAS along with three other collaborators, explored notions of travel and remoteness. Fernweh sought to highlight the intricacies of travel and hospitality within community and socially engaged art, particularly in a rural context.

A travelling symposium, a group of eight international curators from Europe and the Americas navigated rural Scotland guided by numerous arts organisations based in different locales. During their journeys they visited villages, towns and art venues to investigate the relationship between place, hospitality, collaboration, distance and the urban-rural, as well as other matters.

During the group’s time in Skye, ATLAS hosted the symposium and invited members of the public to join in the discussion. On the concept of remoteness, a key factor in ATLAS’ work and one which is repeatedly explored through our programme, we encouraged the contributors and participants to consider the following questions; How much does geography matter? How much does distance affect our day-to-day lives?

Through a hosted dinner, discussion groups and guided walks we explored our sense of connectedness/​isolation and connections between trade, development and tourism.

At the core of Fernweh is a longing for an undefined, perhaps transcendent freedom, but one that may lead to critical reflection, both on oneself and also on one’s surroundings that will also return to the question of community.’
— Simon Ward

The curators involved in Fernweh were: Mary Jane Jacob, J. Gibran Villalobos, Luiz Vergara, Jessica Gogan, Ernesto Pujol, Nuno Sacramento, Claudia Zeiske, Gayle Meikle. This project was led by Deveron Arts who invited ATLAS to collaborate.

The group visited three other collaborating organisations, including: SSW in Lumsden, Timespan in Helmsdale and IOTA in Inverness.