9000 square-metre hand on hillside aims to highlight region to visitors

It is hoped a 9000 square-metre installation will prove handy in bringing tourists to a part of Perthshire.

The Awakening – a massive hand at Spittal of Glenshee – is part of a campaign to encourage visitors to east Perthshire.

Working in collaboration with the innovative Cateran Ecomuseum, Outside Media Group and the wider community, Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association (BEPTA) is delivering the targeted campaign as part of wider efforts to develop strong visitor options that recognise the latest consumer trends post-COVID-19.

The Awakening is sited on the Coire Lairige and inspired by the Glen’s many Finn mac Cumhaill stories.

Co-designed by talented Tayside-based artist Martin McGuinness – whose acclaimed portrait of Hamish Henderson formed part of the launch of the Cateran Ecomuseum in 2019 – and long-term collaborator Fraser Gray, The Awakening will be in place for 10 weeks, coinciding with the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

It is located on the Dalmunzie Estate side of the popular Cateran Trail, just off the A93 Snow Road and within the Cairngorms National Park.

And the new campaign, which has been boosted by funding from VisitScotland, will also feature the many and varied attractions in the Blairgowrie and east Perthshire area, including its accommodation providers, food and drink offering, and activity providers.

Hotelier Murray Scott, of the Angus Hotel, is chair of BEPTA.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received this funding from VisitScotland and to be working with the wonderful Cateran Ecomuseum on this.

“Blairgowrie and east Perthshire has a strong cultural and creative offering and The Awakening will be a catalyst for highlighting the wider visitor proposition to a new audience post-COVID-19, including those already developed by the Cateran Ecomuseum such as a range of walking and cycling routes within the area.

“BEPTA’s primary role is as a marketing organisation for the region.

“We aim to provide aspirational and inspirational content to encourage potential visitors to choose this area over others for their next trip, and this project will enable us to demonstrate that BEPTA and tourism in the area is back in business after what has been a very difficult couple of years.

“As well as the social media campaign, this funding also allows us to significantly revamp our website and will go a long way towards helping us remind the wider world just how much this area and the businesses and organisations we have here have to offer, and will hopefully help to ensure a sustainable recovery for the industry.”

Clare Cooper is a co-founder and co-director of the Cateran Ecomuseum, one of only two ‘museums without walls’ in Scotland.

She said: “The Awakening is a unique, one-off, installation offering an authentic and memorable experience that is truly special.

“Engaging people with their heritage has huge potential to help people build more regenerative and resilient lifestyles and mobilise climate action and, while The Awakening is in place on the hillside, we will be organising a number of events aimed at attracting both visitors and local people to the area.

“We are very grateful to VisitScotland and to BEPTA for supporting us in our efforts to do that.”

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