Calum Stirling

Image: Remote Village,
Copyright the artist 2019

Hypobaric Empyr
Installation and event

Dumfries & Galloway artists' open studios event commissioned Scottish artist Calum Stirling to create a new installation work at Craigieburn, a Nepalese-themed garden outside Moffat, in Scotland.

For the commission, Stirling has created a new installation titled Hypobaric Empyr, which combines elements of architecture, sound and alchemy and responds directly with the unusual, culturally and geographically diverse, landscape of the garden.

Throughout the five-acre garden Stirling installed a series of architectural scale sculptures that define the core of the installation. Part folly, theatrical set and mystical retreat, in combination their intention is to generate a complimentary fictional narrative and alternative navigation of the garden. The theme of the installation comes, in part, from the work of German architectural theorist Bruno Taut - in particular his inspirational book Alpine Architecture. Written in the immediate aftermath of WWI, in it he projects a utopian conversion of the world beginning with an architectural reworking of the Alps. Taut's Modernist and Expressionist values were complimented not only by an interest in mountain culture but also by an interest in Buddhist philosophy. Stirling has taken this connection back to Dawa Sherpa, Craigieburn's head gardener. Dawa's passion for Nepali plants and his previous occupation as a sherpa guide and successful Everest summiteer is evident throughout the garden.