Virginia Heath

From Scotland With Love


Output: Digital or Visual Media

The research enquiry can be seen in the context of a number of artistic projects commissioned to reflect on Scottish national and cultural identity in 2014, the year of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Scottish Independence Referendum. This research focused on how we can use cinema and cinematic processes to investigate and illuminate questions of national identity, memory and culture.

Primary research was conducted in the Scottish Moving Image Archive. Over 4000 images were selected from hundreds of archive films and grouped thematically in the edit room using the analogue tool of the post-it note, then woven together to form sequences. The research approach devised by Heath used an iterative method of ‘writing’ the film - researching and constructing archive sequences concurrently with the music composer (King Creosote) and sound designer (David McAulay) so both processes shaped and affected the creation of the other. By stripping away any interviews or narration, the film weaves together the actions and gestures of ordinary people with contemporary music to create an immersive cinematic space for audiences to reflect on the past and its resonance for today.

From Scotland with Love premiered with a live performance of the score to an international audience at the Culture Festival accompanying the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Subsequent live performances include Edinburgh International Arts Festival, the Barbican and Celtic Connections. It was selected for a Scotland wide cinema tour with Q&As of classic and defining Scottish films, entitled “To See Oursels”, investigating questions of Scottish identity preceding the 2014 Independence Referendum. It was BAFTA nominated (2014) and other screenings include Vancouver, Hanoi, Hot Docs Cinema, Toronto, Dublin, Chicago, Buenos Aires and New Zealand; 10 BBC transmissions; a UK live tour in March 2020. This research was funded by Creative Scotland, the BBC and the Scottish Moving Image Archive.

Research Output

From Scotland With Love Trailer

This project contains further videos that can accessed via the full case study below.

Research Method

Thousands of images were selected from archive films and grouped thematically in the edit room using the analogue tool of the post it note before being woven together to form sequences - no narration or interviews; no politicians or celebrities - simply the actions and gestures of ordinary people.

Key Methodologies:

Full Project Output

REF '21

To learn more about the output, methods and dissemination of this work, explore the full project submission.

Other Projects By

Virginia Heath