A torrent of creative burst, Scotland has its fair share of scintillating contemporary artists taking the art scene by storm. Here, we journey deep into the hinterland of their minds to see what makes them tick.
The animated art of Kirsty Whiten is a liberating depiction of a world free from the socially constructed status quo. Her works challenge and illuminate entrenched preconceptions on topics like gender and sexuality, while exploring the ways in which societies navigate opinions towards such themes. Wronger Rites invites the viewer to experience the imagined rituals and autonomy akin to the Now Peoples and their gender-queer priestess, The Quing, while Housewives follows a body of women as they embrace untamed emotions and a sense of raw self via a ritualistic connection with the environment in the woods. Whiten’s anthropological artwork evokes a cathartic sensation surrounding gender empowerment and ignites a powerful stance on core human idiosyncrasies, causing the mind to reel in unprecedented ways.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The evocative flurry of shapes, fusion of textures and pops of colour embedded into the art of Alice Boyle is like a carnival for the senses. With each glance, a new emotion is unleashed. Through crafting layers upon layers of acrylic and plaster onto hardboard — with the pièce de résistance coming from fluidity of whichever utensil she chooses to imprint upon the painting — Boyle’s artworks point to true artistic prowess. Boyle, who conceptualized and co-founded the spellbinding Graffiti Project at Kelburn Castle, has a Masters from ECA and draws inspiration from the world around her from dreams to mythology: ‘My artwork is about the journey of learning about the spirit of the world and ourselves and accepting all the imperfections’.
Through the artistic media of video, performance, sculpture, sound and text, internationally renowned and critically acclaimed Glasgow artist Graham Fagen explores the numerous ways in which contemporary identity and accompanying myths and legends are dissected, manifested and understood. Fagen, who is currently a Senior Lecturer at Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, has exhibited at the likes of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Britain, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and Busan Biennale in South Korea, to name just a few. He also represented Scotland in 2015 at the Venice Biennale and was chosen by London’s Imperial War Museum as the Official War Artist for Kosovo. Plant and flower motifs throughout his work allude to specific emotions and themes.
Through the vehicle of lithographic printmaking and drawing, Ellis O’Connor creates art that stirs the soul, establishing a deep connection between nature and self. These resounding visual narratives, art that invokes action, are aimed at highlighting pressing issues impacting the natural environment and human involvement. Moved by the majestic qualities within wild landscapes and nature — especially in Scotland and beyond — her works tend to evolve from layers of paint or ink like geomorphic layers. O’Connor’s love for mountain climbing and conservation is extended not only through her evocative artworks but through her upcoming hiking and painting retreat on the magical island of Eilean Shona.
Adding meaning behind the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, Glasgow-based artist Jacob Kerray draws upon his personal passions of football, professional wrestling and historical painting to craft a visual narrative of topics ranging from myth and taste, to mob mentality, social distraction and hierarchies evident within various cultures. Kerray has exhibited in the likes of Glasgow, London, Naples, Dundee and Edinburgh and has a degree in Fine Art, Painting and Printmaking from Glasgow School of Art. He refers to his paintings as ‘revisions of redundant fantasies aiming not to reassert heroism, but to present ideology with a sense of dilapidated lameness’.
Glasgow-based multi-media artist Rachel Maclean touches upon the niggling thoughts anchored in the deepest chasms of the mind. Through film and photography, Maclean stares societal discourses and current political affairs straight in the face. Between the elaborate costumes, psychedelic settings, whimsical voices, epic green-screen prowess and meticulously constructed realms, her unashamedly obscene characters (she plays each one herself) and off-kilter worlds invite nightmare and reality to collide — creating a discordant yet intuitive take on contemporary society. Maclean’s discerning artistic voice and hypnotic works led to her representing Scotland with ‘Spite Your Face’ for the 2017 Scotland + Venice partnership and 57th La Biennale di Venezia.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.