A SCOTTISH-BASED artist is to make a modern day pilgrimage, by walking from Aberdeenshire to Venice.


Anthony Schrag, who trained at Glasgow School of Art and was featured in the nationwide Generation art show last year, is to walk the 1,500 miles from Scotland to the canal city to mark the opening of this year's Venice Biennale of contemporary art.

The project, entitled Lure of the Lost, will see Schrag travel on foot to Venice, a trip that he estimates will take around 450 hours of walking.

The artist hopes that members of the public will join him on some parts of the route.

The walk is being organised by Huntly-based Deveron Arts, and will see Schrag set off in June to walk a route across Britain and France, over the Alps to Italy, to reach what he calls the modern-day "sacred site" of many artists, the Venice Biennale.

Instead of a traditional religious site as the culmination of the journey, Schrag will arrive in Venice, which is now "revered" by artists, he said.

Claudia Zeiske, director of Deveron Arts, said: "Deveron Arts values the process of walking, community, and the human pace.

"The participatory practice of Anthony Schrag follows the model of a pilgrimage in which one world collides with others.

"In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, for example, attention is drawn to the fact that a pilgrimage was a place where a wide variety of people, of different classes and from different places might are bound together.

"Anthony hoping people will participate on the walks and join him on parts of the route."

The Middle Ages saw a huge growth in pilgrimages with vast numbers of people moving not only around Europe, but also to the Holy Land.

An extensive network of roads leading towards destinations of worship across Europe, such as the route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, were established.

On his travels, Schrag will also collect "small relics" on route that will find their "sacred place" on his arrival in Venice.

Schrag was born in 1975 in Zimbabwe, studied creative writing at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and undertook postgraduate studies in Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art in 2005.

His shows and exhibitions include There Shall Be Blood at Timespan in Helmsdale, Tourist in Residence at the Edinburgh Art Festival and Rebelland at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow (2007).

He lives and works in Edinburgh.

At this year's Biennale, Scotland is being represented by Graham Fagen, a lauded Glasgow-based artist in a show curated by Hospitalfield Arts of Arbroath in Angus.