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The project aims to draw out and capture and people's thoughts and reflections on Waterside Hill at a time of change in the landscape. Although the project is initiated originally for a six-month period it is intended that it may, naturally, span decades.


A summit book or summit register is a traditional way of recording visitors to the summit of a mountain. It is enclosed in a weatherproof metal canister secured at the summit. Rather than simply record their presence at the summit, visitors will be prompted to take in their environment and record something of the experience. This record of personal reflections and individual experiences will provide a layer of information and nuance that explores sense of place over a long period, with people offering thoughts in the course of their everyday wanderings, special visits, or long-distance walks, but always in their own time.


The Summit Box will be available between 20/3/2022 and 23/9/2022. People will be encouraged to leave their reflections in the summit register. In return, the first hundred people will receive a token in exchange for their musings. These will be handed out personally during an Artists in-residence session at the cairn on date 20/3/22 and possibly one further session (weather dependent), and then made available for people to take on an honesty basis.


As well as interacting with locals and visitors on the hill summit, Morag hopes to engage with the contracted tree planters who are expected to be working on the hill during the project period. The tokens Morag has prepared consist of a traditional photograph of Waterside hill, taken from the flat fields by the river. These postcards, rich in detail and seasonality capture a sense of place so often missed from standard consultation processes and will act as a memoir of the hill now. A second token, a reproduction of a mono-print made especially for the project and presented on a plantable card impregnated with wildflower seeds will also be on offer. This gestures back towards the village and an ongoing wildflower planting project taking place this summer. A parallel Summit Box will be left in Dalry phone box to allow contributions from people who are unable to walk to the summit. Some tokens will also be available in the phone box.


Jane McBeth will undertake the custodianship / care-taking of the books from spring until autumn and will be open to exploring further encounters stimulated by the books’ presence. In Autumn Jane and Morag will gather in the books and add their own reflections. The summit registers can travel from place to place once complete, to places such as the library, the CatStrand, the Smiddy for people to interact with on an ongoing basis. The intention is to continue replacing the book on the summit cairn over the coming years and decades to capture an ongoing record of the changes on the hill, and how people experience this change. The project has been developed by Morag Paterson (artist) and Jane McBeth (Ken Words), in association with GCAT.


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