Ecocreative Cluster Dye Garden In Full Bloom, July 2022, Credit   Naoko Mabon

Naoko Mabon The Rockfield Centre, Heritage Horizons and Mircocluster

Naoko Mabon The Rockfield Centre, Heritage Horizons and Mircoclusters, Oban

While the dye garden led by Deborah Gray is grounded locally in Oban, as a curator originally from Japan whose prime interest is in weaving relationships amongst differences, Naoko’s role and aim in EcoCreative Cluster was to try to expand the natural dye focused dialogue and network of practices and practitioners to wider localities/grounds than Oban. 

Therefore, while deepening their understanding about the local area, the outcomes of the project created positive impacts to the local region by engaging with new audience members and localities that hold positive potential to generate future opportunities to our local area.

As well as financial, CHARTS provided professional support such as technical, marketing, and moral support, and professional friendship. Support from CHARTS has allowed a creative practitioner who is new to the area to get to know the area’s context and heritage from within.

Since moving to Oban just before the coronavirus outbreak, I was searching for a way to get to know about and engage with my new hometown and its creative community. The involvement in the projects hence provided an ideal platform and occasion to learn from inside about the tangible/intangible local cultural heritage, ecology, and people.


“As a textile artist working in a relatively peripheral location, I appreciate the opportunity to work alongside a group of local volunteers and be part of a wider international group of artists. Developing a physical learning resource, the dye garden, and participating in on-line conversations continues to facilitate valuable exchanges of knowledge and skills.” - Deborah Gray. 


Team photo of Oban Heritage of Colours project with “Heritage Hero Gold Award” from CHARTS. From right, Mhairi Ross (Heritage Volunteer at The Rockfield Centre), Eleanor MacKinnon (Heritage Volunteer at The Rockfield Centre), Deborah Gray (Textile Artist) and Naoko Mabon (Curator)