WHEN The National recently featured Taigh Chearsabhagh’s light installation on North Uist that dramatically showed the threat of rising sea levels, we were unaware that the first print-based visual arts magazine for Scotland and the far north featured the installation on the cover and in its leader article.

The launch of Art North magazine has far exceeded its founder’s expectations for a new visual arts magazine for Scotland.

In the month leading up to its launch, more than 700 pre-order subscriptions were taken out, plus 300 pre-orders of issue one, with sales continuing to rise steeply since its launch at the beginning of the month.

Art North is packed with informative articles by critics known and unknown. Its founder Ian McKay is an art critic who, for more than 30 years, has reported on the visual arts internationally. His writing has appeared in more than 30 countries worldwide.

He said: “During that time, the business of art criticism has changed dramatically. Today, the mainstream art press can often be more fixated on the celebrity of the artist than their ‘work’. It’s the work I’m interested in, not an artist’s lifestyle. That was one of the reasons why I decided to establish Art North.

“Here in the far Northern Highlands, as well as the Northern and Western Isles, increasingly I was becoming aware that the art being made in our urban centres was getting ever-wider coverage, and the art made in more ‘remote’ locations was barely recognised by the art press, if at all.

“Artists here were telling me that they were effectively working in ‘a critical vacuum’ and generally neglected by the wider UK art press.

“Art North was founded as a magazine that would better represent the art of what many people think of as ‘the margins’. The magazine is also about internationalising the work being made by forging stronger links with Scotland’s neighbours in the far north.