Veere is a historic port town in the southern Dutch province of Zeeland, and was Scotland’s primary trading gateway to Europe for several hundred years. It’s a part of Scotland’s history which isn’t widely known about, and has the potential to challenge some preconceptions about the country’s historic place in the world.
From mid-May until the first week of June 2022, I’ll be here as artist in residence at the Schotse Huizen (Scottish Houses), a local museum occupying two beautifully preserved Scottish merchants’ houses on the waterfront. My tasks will include carrying out research into the historic Scottish presence, consulting with the local archives, drawing, sketching and writing about my experiences.
Last year I released a hand-drawn Atlas of Scotland, using maps and illustrations to tell Scotland’s story. One of the themes of the Atlas was to look at some of the fascinating ways Scotland had connected with the outside world throughout history, including the old European trade routes of Scottish merchants. Embarking on this artist residency in the Netherlands is an opportunity for me to follow that thread in much closer detail.
I’m excited to follow in the footsteps of this historic Scottish community and find out more about their lives and influence on the town. I hope that this project will help to promote positive cross-cultural relationships and increase public awareness of our shared European history.
Look out for my diaries from Veere in the Sunday National, with the first being published on the 22nd of May.
This project is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.