Private Project

Foregathered wi' the beast

Since the loss of wolves in Scotland in the 18th century, the Highlands have experienced a steady ecological decline. In a lay-by of the A9, two miles north of Brora, stands a stone that marks the place where the last wolf in Sutherland was killed, by a hunter of supposedly great esteem called Polson. An account of the event was published in William Scrope's 1838 book, The Art of Deerstalking. In 1924 the 7th Duke of Portland, one William Cavendish Bentinck, erected a stone to mark the place where the last wolf in these lands was finished.

My thought was to make a new stone, one that would address the Polson stone from across the lay-by and offer an alternative version of events- a memorial to the last wolf, a lament, a protest, a hope for the future.

The guerrilla act of making and installing a stone that speaks directly into the space left by the wolves aims to challenge the story that has persisted for three centuries, remake the legacy of wolves in Scotland and mark the place for what it is- the start of the demise of the Highland ecosystem.

Foregathered wi' the beast is the documentation of this protest performance, made in collaboration with action reeve media

  • Beatrice Searle
  • Beatrice Searle
  • Andrew Reeve and Beatrice Searle
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 28 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 30, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    50 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Rewind/Rewild Exhbition, OmVed Gardens
    United Kingdom
    April 30, 2019
Director Biography - Beatrice Searle

Beatrice trained in Fine Art and subsequently completed a stonemasonry apprenticeship at Lincoln Cathedral. She now lives and works in Scotland where she has a small studio. Her multidisciplinary practice draws on ecological and geological research to explore how human beings connect to their landscape and natural environment, our relationship with vital ecosystems, the internal landscapes we construct for ourselves and the power of landscape to affirm and strengthen. 

Beatrice is also the co-founder of Rewind/Rewild exhibition and public forum. Her most recent work includes her making and guerrilla siting of a protest stone to mourn the loss of wolves from the Scottish Highlands and the lecture performance, ‘Learning a Stone’ at Jupiter Rising Festival in Edinburgh, 2019. Beatrice is regularly a panel member in discussions about artists addressing the biodiversity and climate crisis. Her writing has been published online at The Learned Pig and The Big Picture, Scotland.

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