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Heinz’s bird’s eye view of the Cairngorms National Park

22nd January 2007

THE world’s leading panoramic artist and former apprentice of the renowned Heinrich C Berann braved the Highland weather this week to produce his first ever views of Britain – a series commemorating the Cairngorms National Park.

Heinz Vielkind has been commissioned by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) to produce five panoramic views of the stunning Cairngorms mountain range and its surrounding areas – the first national park in Britain to do this.

The art work will highlight the Park from five different views, south, east, north east, north west and south west, and will enable visitors to better understand its lay-out and geography as well as its many communities. At 1,466 square miles the Cairngorms is Britain’s largest national park.

Once completed they will be placed at various entry points around the Park to act as a large map as well as highlight to visitors how vast and varied the Park is. They will also be reproduced for use in tourist information centres and other visitor attractions.

The paintings form part of the wider Entry Point project, which has seen granite markers, featuring the National Park brand, placed at different entry locations around the Cairngorms.

Bringing Heinz on board to help with the project was a real coup for the CNPA. He is celebrated around the world for the quality of his work and is considered to be at the forefront of his field. He trained under Heinrich C Berann, thought by many to be the father of modern panoramic art. Berann produced the now famous panoramics of Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks, as well as several others around the world.

Heinz, who is from Austria, served under him for 40 years, learning the trade. Following Berann’s death in 1999 Heinz licensed the Berann name and now works under his trademark signature. He has painted some fantastic works, including panoramics of the whole of the United Kingdom, North America and Europe.

Although he has done panoramic paintings of several national parks around the world, it is the first time he has worked on such a project in Britain. It is also the first time he has ever produced five panoramic views of the one area.

Heinz has already produced the rough drafts of the scenes – which he managed to do without even visiting the Park. He relied on maps and photographs sent by CNPA to produce remarkably accurate sketches of the mountain range, towns and villages. He visited Scotland for the first time this week and spent four days in the Cairngorms, visiting different locations to get a better understanding of the Park and its various landscapes.

Heinz Vielkind said he was delighted to be involved in the project.

“I am very happy to do this. It is very important information. People will know the area and where they are going. There is no other place in the world like this. I was able to see artic mountains and see how big the Park is. It is wonderful.”

Professor Mike Wood, OBE, a senior lecturer at Aberdeen University, is also involved in the project.

“This is the first time that anything like this has been done on this scale, with five different views. The CNPA should be congratulated for that, it is a very clever idea.

“And there is no-one in the world better at this type of work than Heinz. His style is magnificent and captures the nature of the landscape.”

Andy Ford, Visitor Services Officer at the CNPA, said: “There are a number of locations where visitors enter the Park and this will give them the opportunity to have information about the Park.

“We want people to get an impression of the scale and size of the Park. They will be able to see the Park in its entirety and see that the Park has artic mountain tops, wetland, moorlands, forest and farmland and that people live and work here as well.

“This is something that is done by national parks around the world, it is considered a fantastic way of showing the area to visitors, and it is very exciting that we are the first Park in Britain to do this. It is something that can be enjoyed by people for years to come and will help make their experience of the Park more enjoyable.

“We are particularly delighted to have Heinz produce the paintings and thank him for the fantastic work he is doing to help promote the Park.”

The paintings, which cost £4,000 each, will take around two months to complete and will be done by hand. The first is expected to be exhibited in April.

They will be placed at the entry points at Laggan, Dinnet and Drumochter.

It is hoped that the paintings will eventually be reproduced as promotional material, such as for leaflets, and postcard and posters for the public to buy.