Public Art Project: Mapping the Nation

A new public art project; mapping the Scottish independence movement as it happens, in the words of ordinary people from across the country.

What I’m looking for is a couple of sentences or a short paragraph about why you support independence. Try not to get bogged down in statistics or economics or party politics – just say what you feel about the issue. Try to keep your reasons for independence meaningful, short and concise. I will be compiling the contributions into a large map of Scotland, capturing the political imagination of the movement.

Your contribution doesn’t need to be written in formal Queen’s English. Write in words that suit you – swear if you like – write whatever comes into your head. This is about expressing ourselves as a nation, in our own words.

Sorry, submissions now closed!


Stage 1


Stage 2

There isn’t much of a difference between writing and map-making. You can tell a story by mapping a place and map a place by telling a story.

Last year I launched a project via National Collective for people to send me their stories; to send me their reasons, their hopes and their dreams for an independent Scotland. I didn’t know any of these people, of course, and they didn’t know me, but they were kind enough to contribute. I asked them not to send me the facts and figures but simply to say what they feel about independence. I think it’s a more human and more worthwhile debate that way.

And so, over the space of a few weeks I got to work scribbling these statements down into a big map of Scotland. I had never drawn using words before but I wanted to create something that really showed a nation talking to itself, something to which anyone could contribute and which was a public creation as opposed to just being a creation of my own.

Below is a film of the result. Thank you all who contributed, and to the wonderful singer Alyth McCormack for kindly letting me use her song, ‘The Vices Set’.

Colourful poster prints of Imagining Scotland will be made available soon. You can leave us a note of interest by getting in touch here.

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