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MALCOLM INNES, ‘LANDSCAPE LAND ART: As mediator for the interpretation of intangable cultutral heritage’, Shoormal Conference - Mareel.

Malcolm Innes is a Scottish lighting design specialist exploring in-depth meaning place in contemporary life. His lecture at the Shoormal Conference in Mareel on the 19th of September 2019, advertised and advocated his research and projects. Starting with his creative cv that started as a degree of art in the Edinburgh College of Art to and finishing with his interdisciplinary practice as a visual artist, researcher and lighting specialist, highlighting the dynamic nature of a career in the creative industries. 


After taking up a position as a researcher at the University of Edinburgh Napier, Innes had to rationalize his work. In this reconsideration of past projects, he found the phrase ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’, to be the core concept in his work. This was a distinct learning point to me as my practice within landscape reflects solely on first-hand experience or first-hand history of place or site-specific qualities. His work puts emphasis on the importance of anthropology and the mix of historic culture and the present world to create a deeper understanding of place in an immersive experience.   

He then referenced the possibility for a lighting project in Shetland. Innes has had a very interesting and long career in the creative industries. I feel he has a lot to share both theoretically and practically. I have reached out to create a dialogue in hopes to learn from him, thus widening and growing my own practice. 


After Innes art degree he started an apprentice with Shaw Lighting Design. Working as a Lighting Specialist gave Innes the technical skill to explore the possibility of light, but Innes missed the ‘expressionism’ and ‘experimentation’ he found within art.  His need for art was fulfilled by creating his own company, Malcolm Innes Design, where he took on many commissions. Most relevant to the daily theme of the conference, ‘The In-Between’, a sound and light project with Diane Maclean, ‘Between Two Worlds’ in An Loch Vaine. This project, commissioned by the by the Forestry Commission Scotland, was to be something purely experiential and distinct to show the historic nature of the place and the importance of conservation for future generations. The final trail that used technological interventions to bring an otherworldly encounter to the site. Though using very little light, Innes managed to unconcealed the experience and mythical history of the place at night, in a non-superficial nature. Communicating directly to the audience the uniqueness of the place, past, present and future. I enjoyed this part of the talk as it has relevance to my own work into place and time. He creates a beauty and an effect on audience only from experiencing place in a new perspective, I find this to be a concept I would like to carry through my work. 

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All images: Between Two Worlds, by Diane Maclean and Malcolm Innes. Images taken from

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