Nairn, a town in the Scottish Highlands about twenty miles west from Inverness, finds its origins as an ancient fishing port. It’s understood that settlers arrived around ten thousand years ago, its strategic location forming the backdrop of many significant events throughout Scotland’s history. Relics of Pictish worship dot the landscape, and centuries-old castles, home to many kings and queens, can be found just down the road.
Nowadays, the town of Nairn is home to approximately ten thousand people (including actor Tilda Swinton) and is known for its scenic beaches and vibrant literary scene. There’s a wealth of inspiration for artists and creatives to be found in Nairn.
Links Studios, formally the Links Primary School, is on Grant Street, three-minutes walk from Nairn’s beautiful beach. Built in 1851, children from the surrounding Fishertown area passed through the Links School for their education. During busier fishing seasons, attendance was less regular for pupils as they were put to work at the port.
The school closed in the late 1960’s, before Wasps reopened the building in 2015 as Links Studios, providing eight studios and one creative business office. The studio building also features a project space that is used by the tenants and locals for workshops and exhibitions.
Though the number of artists working at Links is small, the community is close-knit and passionate. The tenants at Links include painter and tapestry maker Catriona Coghill, illustrator Meaghann Harris, painter Shaun MacDonald and sculptor Emily Coulson.