Welcome to Northings
NORTHINGS is devoted to arts and culture in the Highlands & Islands of Scotland.
Our aims are to provide high-quality coverage of the arts, and to facilitate a vibrant on-line community dedicated to debating, discussing and nurturing the artistic health of the area.
The radical changes we made in November 2010 provided us with a greatly enhanced platform to achieve these aims. Northings began life as an on-line journal in 2003 (we took on the Northings name in 2005), carrying news, reviews, interviews and features on the work of artists in all media based in the region, artists from the region now working elsewhere, and visiting companies and events.
Northings remains part of the HI-Arts family of websites, but the journal has always been editorially independent of HI-Arts, and opinions and views expressed are strictly those of the writers of the articles or reviews, and not of the organisation.
Until March 2012, Northings was funded by Highlands & Islands Enterprise through HI-Arts, and we are very grateful for that support. However, we now have to seek major funding from other sources if we are to continue to serve as both a journal and a communal hub for the arts in our large and geographically diverse region.
We are inviting those who make use of the site to help with that effort through donations, but we are also seeking to strengthen the community side of our remit.
You can join the Northings community by registering via the pull-down box at the top of the home page. Once registered, we hope that you will want to contribute directly to the site, and make use of the facilities we offer to comment on articles and reviews, to network with other users (including via our Facebook page – please sign up there as well – and Twitter).
We will be adding more functionality to enhance the Community experience in the coming months. Developing the on-line community at Northings has always been a key element in our mission, and we hope that you will join with us in making it an even more proactive one.
Northings will continue to carry commissioned features and reviews from our team of professional contributors – and unlike many other internet sites, we pay for these contributions. Over the years we have carried over 1,750 reviews and over 750 features, not to mention a regular feed of news items, and well over 550,000 items have been downloaded, from PDFs and documents to podcasts and Hi-wireless episodes.
If you are new to the site you may wonder why we chose the name Northings. As anyone who reads maps will know, a northing is the name given to the second half of a UK grid reference (the first bit is an easting). A trawl through various dictionaries produced some more definitions, including these:
- The difference in latitude between two positions as a result of a movement to the north.
- Progress toward the north.
Buried within the name is the appropriate implication of ‘North-things’, and the idea of “progress toward the north” not only signaled our focus on the northern part of Scotland when viewed as a whole, but also recognised that fact that our ‘home’ area actually stretches quite far south.
Northings has come a long way, but we now stand at what is both our biggest challenge so far and our most exciting opportunity to expand our service on diverse fronts, and for you to get involved. We look forward to the continued development of the site, and the containing flourishing of the arts in the Highlands & Islands.