BID Sponsors Creative Stirling Exhibition – The Stirling Pioneers

Creative Stirling will launch its interactive exhibition The Stirling Pioneers’ this weekend after receiving funding from the city’s Business Improvement District (BID). The Stirling Pioneers: Film Makers Who Changed The World’ features two icons of global film culture, the inventor of documentary John Grierson and Norman McLaren – a ground-breaking innovator in the arts of animation.

It portrays the personal stories of the two Stirling men and the relationship between them and includes artwork by street artist and illustrator Brian
McFeely. The event is free and runs from Saturday September 16 until Monday October 30 at the exhibition space upstairs from the Made in Stirling store in King Street, Stirling.

`The Stirling Pioneers’ is supported by a grant from Go Forth Stirling BID who have offered funding for a limited number of footfall-boosting Stirling events and initiatives taking place over the next year.

Joe Hall, Director at Creative Stirling, said: “We were delighted to receive the funding and support from Go Forth which has allowed the event to go ahead. “It’s given us the opportunity to champion two groundbreaking Stirling film- makers and tell their personal stories.

It’s fantastic to have Stirling connections to the man who invented the documentary and the man who pioneered animation techniques and to be able to show how they worked together. Many will be unaware of the unparalleled significance of Grierson and McLaren’s work and its impact on society and culture – so we’re looking forward to telling this incredible Stirling story in an engaging and relatable way.”

The exhibition features films about Grierson and McLaren’s life and work plus family photographs, images of Stirling, documents and artwork collections – many of which belong to the University of Stirling’s Archives and Special Collections.

Ms Hall added: “We’re grateful to the University’s Archivist Karl Magee who helped us source content for the exhibition and I think people will enjoy seeing Stirling mentioned frequently in the films and via family pictures and interviews as they view it. We hope the event will also inspire the groups of young people who regularly use our space as they learn about these creative innovators who have had such a significant role in film history.”

Creative’s Stirling exhibition is the first event to be sponsored by Go Forth after the organisation encouraged local business owners and individuals to come forward with grant applications earlier this year. (You can find how to apply for the event sponsorship here.)

Danielle McRorie-Smith, Project Director at Go Forth Stirling, said: “We sought ideas for interesting events which would fit in with our strategic objectives of increasing footfall and supporting Stirling’s business owners and also be a benefit to the local community. We were keen to support innovative events and Creative Stirling’s interactive exhibition fits the bill perfectly.

It provides a great opportunity for local people to find out more about two pioneers of the film-making world and will also benefit the business community by attracting more visitors into Stirling.

`The Stirling Pioneers’ exhibition will feature three screens – the first showing the 1973 documentary ‘Grierson’ about his life and work and the second showing ‘Creative Process: Norman McLaren’ which is a 1991 feature-length documentary exploring his process of artistic creation. Meanwhile, Screen 3 will feature ‘Neighbours’, an iconic groundbreaking animation by McLaren, and ‘Drifters’ – Grierson’s first feature on the Scottish Herring Industry. 

The exhibition will also combine graphics, artwork by McLaren, moving images and imaginatively presented information and still images to convey the story around the lives and work of the two men. For more information about Creative Stirling and the organisation’s events, visit


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