Workshops 2023

Would you like to find about accessing AI on your PC, or seeing robots in action?

Or see the skills of violin making and hear the resulting sound in the hands of a virtuoso?

Would you like to find out about Slovenian archaeology in Iron Age times and compare with Orkney?

Or perhaps go further back in time to find out how you can study the night sky in Orkney at the time that Maeshowe was built?

You might also like the opportunity to learn the skills of wildlife photography from a professional – or simply walk along an Orkney beach with an artist and a walker and see how you might explore the art of wind and wave.

For all these possibilities, read on below!


September 8 → 11:00 am12:00 pm

Join artist Lin Chau and horticulturist Elizabeth Woodcock for a wellbeing workshop on Scapa beach where each participant will bring their own art materials. We’ll seek to enjoy the world of the shore, listening to the wind and the waves and the seabirds, and creating through drawing and poetry. All abilities welcome. Numbers limited to 8, booking essential: tickets £10.


September 8 → 3:30 pm4:30 pm

Today’s settlement pattern in Slovenia is an old one going back to the 4th-6th centuries AD – living on hilltop sites. In early days they were either naturally defended or built up as forts; later many became the sites of churches we can see today. But further back in Roman times, settlement was on lower ground. Archaeologist Dr Tina Milavec of the University of Ljubljana shows images from various sites and explores possible explanations. She goes on to ask about the Orkney situation, and for any similarities or contrasts. Numbers limited to 30, booking essential.


September 9 → 10:30 am12:00 pm

What is AI, where is it going – and can we make use of it in rural and island areas? Here's an introduction from Dr Matjaž Vidmar of Edinburgh University, who uses AI for his work bridging space technology, art and innovation. The workshop takes place in one of the KGS computer rooms, or you are welcome to bring along your own laptop. Numbers limited to 15: booking essential.


September 9 → 3:00 pm4:30 pm

Award-winning photographer Richard Shucksmith shows you how to take stunning wildlife photos, with the help of the birds at the Skaill House Falconry Centre. Numbers restricted to 10, booking essential.


September 10 → 5:00 pm6:00 pm

Dave Craig explains the nuts and bolts of how Stellarium was used in his recent investigation Why is Maeshowe Squint? This, he says, will help citizen scientists or archaeologists to investigate Maeshowe or other potential alignments themselves. “There will be a particular focus on accuracy and simplicity. If you want, bring along your own laptop with Stellarium and/or Google Earth Pro already installed.


September 11 → 7:00 pm10:00 pm

And can we trust them? The best way is to try them out for yourself, and the team from the National Robotarium in Edinburgh have brought several of their favourite robots to Orkney for the Festival. It’s an opportunity to try out some of the latest robot technology, and enjoy activities and discussions to explore how humans interact with robots and meet some of the people developing the technology for the future. It’s aimed at people of 18 and over, and numbers are limited to 25, so booking is essential. The National Robotarium is the UK’s centre for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.


September 13 → 11:00 am12:00 pm

The sunshine of Italy has produced the finest of violins down the centuries. The sea air of Orkney is doing the same today. Hear and see at first hand what is involved, from the tools and the skills, to the unique personality of the finished instrument. Orkney violin maker Colin Tulloch, with his son Findlay, describes the process, and violinist Charlotte Rowan explores the sound with examples from her musical repertoire.

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