The Colour of Red

Site specific installation and performance, 2013

International artists, Henry Coombes, Casali+Roubini, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, and collective ~ in the fields, were invited to collaborate with partners and the local community to explore the natural heritage of the most prominent landmark in the North East of Scotland, Bennachie.

Natural Bennachie is a project that has investigated the social, physical and mythological history of an iconic North East landmark, supported by Creative Scotland as part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013.

Many of the artists’ research has been focused on the boundaries and borders of the landscape, which over time have served as sites of religious significance, refuge, study, and most predominantly, a natural resource. Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva worked with students from Gray’s School of Art, staff and volunteers from Forestry Commission Scotland and the Bailies of Bennachie to make a site-specific performance called The Colour of Red that focuses on patterns and movements of life, the shapes and forms that are found within the landscape and informed by man, including industry, regeneration and recycling of resources. Video documentary and photographs represent the final outcome of the work. The Colour of Red is dedicated to performance artist Monica Ross.

The results of the performance can currently still be seen on the hillside, but it is fading over time. SSW encourages anyone walking on Bennachie to visit the site, where it’s possible to walk in amongst the painted tree stumps.

This work was featured on BBC2’s “Landward” programme and is available to view on request here:

For more information on the project visit

For more information on Monica Ross work please visit

Supporting organisations:
  • Forestry Commission Scotland
  • Gray’s School of Art
  • Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service
  • University of Aberdeen
  • Photo: Mary Freeman
  • SSW
  • Creative Scotland
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Bailies of Bennachie