Castle Douglas woman's poem chosen to feature in virtual Great Scottish Canvas exhibition

By Stuart Gillespie

A poem by a Castle Douglas woman is featuring in a unique virtual art exhibition.

Elizabeth Craig’s piece, titled Gifts, is one of 45 works chosen to form part of the Great Scottish Canvas exhibition.

It follows a call from wildlife charity WWF Scotland for people across the country to share their vision of a greener and fairer Scotland ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.

Elizabeth – known as Betty – said: “I wrote this poem after walking in our local park, beside Carlingwark Loch in Castle Douglas.

“At the time, I was thinking how much nature has contributed to our well-being, especially during lockdown, even if it is just the appreciation of a patch of sunlight or listening to the birds.

“This led me to think about how fragile our eco-system is, and how each of us can have a positive impact on it by making changes to how we live. Even small changes can make a difference.”

Hundreds of entries were submitted, with Elizabeth’s one of those chosen by curators Stephanie Straine and Emma Gillespie from the National Galleries of Scotland and Scots poet Stuart A Paterson from Kirkbean.

Their work is displayed online alongside a poem from author Alexander McCall Smith and a nature book written by former Makar Jackie Kay. The pieces will also be showcased at COP26.

Director at WWF Scotland, Lang Banks, said: “We were blown away by the quality of work sent to us, and also delighted that so many people wanted to get creative in sharing their hopes for a fairer, greener Scotland with us.

“The strength of The Great Scottish Canvas is that it belongs to everyone - it is a platform for diverse voices from across Scotland.

“It’s a place where people who may not necessarily be climate activists or engaged in policy debates have the opportunity to share their own ideas and hopes for the future, and start their own conversations through art and

“We hope they are heard as world leaders prepare to come to Glasgow for crucial climate talks in November.”

The Great Scottish Canvas, which is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and the Cruden Foundation, can be found online at

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