Thursday 6 October 2016

Scotland by Rail - Burntisland to Ladybank - Kirsty Lorenz's studio. Also Kirkcaldy Galleries - Kate Downie's Forth Bridges.

Ladybank station, Kirsty's studio & Off the Rails Arthouse

Burntisland to Ladybank by train to visit artist Kirsty Lorenz's studio

I'm taking on the disused platform building at Burntisland station, turning it into my studio and a now-and-again space for workshops and for welcoming visitors. To help decide how to lay out the space out I'm visiting other station studios, of which Fife has quite a lot. This post is a trip to Ladybank to visit Kirsty Lorenz's studio.

train sketches

train sketches

Meadow brown on valerian in Burntisland station wildlife-friendly flower beds. Thanks to Floral Action Burntisland

hoverflies on ivy at Burntisland station. Ivy is one of the very best of winter food sources for insects - don't cut yours down!

Burntisland station, wildlife-friendly. Thank you Floral Action Burntisland (FAB)!

Inchkeith island, Arthur's Seat, Salisbury Crags. From train Burntisland to Kinghorn


If the connection at Kirkcaldy works, Burntisland to Ladybank takes less than 40 minutes. If it doesn't you can spend the spare time visiting Kirkcaldy Galleries, which I've blogged about previously here. It didn't, I did. Kirkcaldy Galleries is only a two minute walk from the station. LINK.. At the moment Kate Downie's Forth Bridges drawings and paintings and monoprints are on display, part of a family-friendly exhibition exploring the first, second and third Forth Bridges. Kate has been artist in residence during the Forth Replacement Crossing and here shows a whole room of her works, large and small.

SPAN - A Tale of Three Bridges runs until 26th February 2017. Check opening times on Kirkcaldy Galleries website.

Kirkcaldy Galleries photographed from Kirkcaldy station


From Kirkcaldy it's a ten minute train journey to Ladybank. If you're coming from Edinburgh you won't need to change at Kirkcaldy, your train goes directly to Ladybank. Kirsty's studio is seen as soon as you get off the train on platform 2. Three bold floral paintings brighten three original sash and case windows.

We had coffee while we chatted art, funding, selling work, opening studios to visitors, trips to Orkney. Kirsty has recently returned from the far north where she was photographing and filming native Scottish wild flowers as part of her ongoing 'Votive Offerings' series. The work is intricate and intriguing. A piece from the project is included in the Scottish Society of Artists (SSA) Exquisite Corpse exhibition, at St Andrews Museum until November 19th 2016.

You can visit Kirsty's studio, and other venues along the Fife railway line, during The Artline's Open Doors weekend. My studio probably won't be ready for the 2017 Open Doors but hopefully will be in time for the 2018 one!

Kirsty Lorenz, Votive Offering No.52, oil on linen, 70x50cm


Intermission - Bollywood in Edinburgh
I had no time to properly explore Ladybank as was due in Edinburgh mid-afternoon for Bollywood dancing. Not me dancing but Jennifer and friends performing at Fettes College to entertain walkers starting out on Maggie's Centre's Culture Crawl in aid of cancer care.

spot Jennifer


Ladybank again

I did manage a twenty minute circle of the streets before leaving. House martins swirled around the railway buildings, surely any day now departing for Africa. Off the Rails Arthouse is behind and above Kirsty's studio and is a venue for regular art classes and tutoring. On the other side of the station a wide border of wildflowers was glowing all along the station car park, covered in bees, hoverflies, wasps.

Various woodland walks and country road cycles are accessible from the village so I hope to go back for a proper explore.

wild flower meadow all along Ladybank station car park. Packed with bees, butterflies, hoverflies

Ladybank station

Off the Rails Arthouse

outside the station

Ladybank, Auchtermuchty, Falkland circle cycle

field and forest, Ladybank


How to get there

Trains to Ladybank take 50 minutes from Edinburgh Waverley, and run at least hourly on weekdays, sometimes half hourly.

From Dundee it takes half an hour and weekday trains are hourly.

Timetables and Buy Tickets option on ScotRail website.

Many thanks to ScotRail for enabling my Scotland by Rail work.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Leo
    Always enjoy your blog.
    It’s quite interesting, the use of passenger trains in Scotland, England, and Europe for that matter. We, here in Canada, can thank the railroads for Confederation. I still remember as a boy the widespread use of trains for commercial, and general transportation. In fact one of my earliest memories is of me, my infant sister, and mother, taking the train from Hamilton, Ontario home to Midland, Ontario. Then, the people of Canada embraced the automobile and railroads ceased to become a major source of non commercial transportation. Of no further use train stations were dismantled, tracks were torn up, and the local right-of-ways became hiking/biking trails. Now, years later, we’re left wondering whether we did the right thing. With the concern over global warming, and the pressure to force the general population of Canada to move away from fossil fuels and to embrace electric cars (with limit range), some are wishing that we hadn’t torn up the tracks. In case you hadn’t heard the Government of Canada is (some would say) punishing its people in the rush to be leaders in the battle against global warming. The cost both socially and financially (an additional GST), will be enormous. Hopefully, Scotland and England will maintain their railroads together with their historic connection. Rail travel is a wonderful means of transportation providing a few moments for the traveller to enjoy peace from the pressures of daily life.
    Ernest Somers