A NORTH Ayrshire writer is embarking on a month-long journey through the Scottish mountains in preparation for his new book.
Alex Boyd explores the cultural history of Scotland’s mountains and hills in hopes of telling the stories of artists who have visited and depicted these places.
Through the book, he hopes to make mountains and hills accessible by allowing the reader to experience them without physically visiting the site.
The John Muir Trust has supported Alex’s journey with funding from the Des Rubens and Bill Wallace Fellowship, available for those seeking life-changing experiences in nature.
Alex said: “I am absolutely delighted to be awarded the Des Rubens and Bill Wallace Scholarship which will allow me to complete an exploration of the Scottish mountains.
“The grant will make a big difference to my project as it provides the support I need to experience the heights that have inspired some of our greatest artists, musicians and writers.
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“I hope I can live up to the example that Des Rubens and Bill Wallace have set for all who explore the outdoors.”
Alex’s book will not document Scotland’s highest mountains, but rather its most historically significant peaks.
It was inspired by Japanese writer Kyya Fukada who penned the iconic “100 Mountains of Japan” in 1964.
After his trip, Alex will continue his research on the mountains and aims to have the book ready for 2023.
Jenny Seaman, Head of Fundraising at the John Muir Trust, said: “The grants panel was inspired by Alex’s thoughtful project and his alternative take on access and engagement with the Scottish mountains.
“We are delighted to be able to support his research and hope that his work will encourage new audiences to take an interest in Scotland’s wild places.”
Alex has previously published the book ‘St Kilda The Silent Islands’, which was shortlisted for a Saltire Literary Prize.
He is also a prolific photographer with his work focusing on Scottish landscapes.
Alex is perhaps best known for his “Sonnets” series, a collaboration with the late Makar (Poet Laureate) Edwin Morgan, which shows a faceless figure in the landscape.
Currently, Alex is completing a PhD in the field of Scottish Defense and the Environment.