BLiSS full Monday…

The frequently posted images on Facebook of ‘Still’ led me to read more of this photogenic fella.  While trying to find any connection of his residence in St Fillans to the St Fillans cave in Pittenweem, I fell short of gaining any linking evidence as I was prematurely side tracked by stumbling upon the BLiSS Trail…

The BLiSS trail was the brainchild of LETi (Loch Earn Tourism Information group) and takes you a scenic journey through heart of ‘Rob Roy Country’ to celebrate the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016. The name BLiSS comes from the four villages linked by the trail: Balquidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans, with the “i” standing for both tourist information and innovation. The villages are currently home to 13 ‘official’ sculptures and creative projects and I was on a mission to meet each and every one.

The plan was to follow the numbered map implicitly… until I took a wrong turn but still, we joyfully ticked off every sculpture enjoying banter and helpful advice from the locals at every turn.

Our first stop was at ‘Sloc nan Sitheanach’ (Faerie Hollow) to see the work of Ruairidh Moir. A tranquil rest and sheltered spot to admire the view of Loch Lubnaig. It was set just to the right at the beautifully maintained north carpark. There are lots of picnic tables and metal stands to fire up your portable bbq and snack ‘shed’ for coffees etc.

Continuing up the A84, on the left you’ll see The Broch Café in Strathyre where the second installation (designed by Jeremy Cunningham) is easily spotted: ‘Ride Out Seats’.

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After a stroke of the smooth, perfectly proportioned steel and oak, a glance ahead uncovered the third piece which we made our way over too. At this stage, I began calling it a treasure hunt as the directions were a bit vague. To be fair, they are probably very helpful if you knew the area. But we didn’t…

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Stirling Council had commissioned installation number 3 to chainsaw carver Iain Chalmers who created ‘A Soaring Eagle’ standing about 7 foot tall in amongst the trees. Handsome brute…

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