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About elaf

The principal ideas of our organisation are many but perhaps primary is our desire to share the positive benefits of witnessing, or creating land art. We want to introduce it to as many people as we can, especially to children who despite the wealth of digital distractions can still readily enjoy getting back to what so many of us took for granted as children; playing freely in nature.

The power of stone stacking

We’re now all aware of the health benefits of being in nature both physical and mental. Many people struggle to calm their racing minds and might not be so inclined to try something like meditation. This is where Land art is is such a powerful tool as not only is it enjoyable but it’s the ultimate mindful practice. If you are stacking stones there’s no way to do this without focussing the mind completely. Speak to any of the practitioners and very often you find a heartfelt story of healing through this art form. And of course a real benefit in these times, it’s free. Nature provides the materials. We advocate creating responsibly and causing no harm. We recommend taking down stone stacks when finished.

The festival

Our Dunbar festival has gone through a few transformations over the years since its inception in 2016 under the guise of the John Muir Stone stacking challenge. John Muir, who was originally born and raised in Dunbar was of course a remarkable naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the USA. Who better to herald the birth of a festival that has the care of the environment at its core

It was local Dunbar artist James Craig Page along with his friend Steven Hill who organised and ran that first festival which proved a great success spurring them on to evolve it into what became the European Stone Stacking Championships. These annual three day festivals ran from 2017 – 2021 albeit for a wee break due to covid restrictions in 2020.

Then in 2022 the festival evolved again when the stone stacking competition came under the umbrella of the European Land Art Festival (elaf), and is now running for a full week each July. With so much to organise James has been joined by a number of other creative folk who each contribute towards the event we know now.

Meet the elaf team

James Craig Page

Founder / Event Organiser
/ Master of Ceremonies

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James has been an artist since 1997 and was born and bred in Dunbar where he has lived and created all his life. He became Art Director for 4 years with the Dunbar Street Art Trail and in 2017 created the European Stone Stacking Championships in Dunbar, Scotland. The festival has now become a satellite qualifying event for the World Rock Stacking Championships in Llano, Texas. James is also a keen painter and formed his international art collective, Church of Gloss, in 2007. He has exhibited in many countries and his artwork can always be seen in various locations around his hometown.

Photograph of James Craig Page creating a tall stone stack

Laurence Winram

Event Organiser / Photographer

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Laurence Winram is a professional photographer who chanced across the European Stone Stacking Championships in 2017. It changed his life. Since then, he’s spent much of his free time creating land art in forests, beaches and much to his wife’s annoyance, the sitting room table.

Photograph of Laurence Winram lying on the ground next to a land art piece made of fallen leaves in a spiral, dark red on the outside blending into oranges, yellows and greens in the centre

Arron Hadfield-Tierney

Event Organiser / Graphic Designer

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Since graduating with a Design and Art Direction degree from the Manchester School of Art in 2010, Arron has worked full-time in creative agencies, honing his skills on various commercial projects. He caught the land art bug at the 2021 European Stone Stacking Championships and is now a crucial part of the elaf team, leading the direction of our branding, website, and marketing.

Photograph of Arron Tierney crouching down and placing a rock in his dragon land art piece

The wider elaf team

There are, of course, a number of other people who without their willingness to give up their time and efforts, the festival would not function. Included below are some of the kind people who contribute so much to elaf.

Steven Hill, Sterling Gregory, Michael Grab, Martine McLuskie, James Russell, Tom Page, Catherine Page, Carmen Chandradev and Caroline Brunt.

 

Also our American friends at LEAF, Binky la Faye, Ron Anderson and Gretchen Hinkle to name but a few.

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