Scaling the Heights: Miniature Mountaineering

Oriental Museum


A talk by artist Stephen Livingstone about his work on Scaling the Heights - a project bringing the rich culture of mountaineering literature to life using vintage Action Man figures.

Artist Stephen Livingstone will speak about his work on Scaling the Heights, a multi-facetted project in collaboration with Dr. Abbie Garrington of Durham University which seeks to explore the rich culture of mountaineering literature. A major element of the project has been the development of a series of miniature mountaineering events where a pair of vintage Action Man figures recreate historic Himalayan expeditions by climbing the shelves of important mountaineering libraries and archives such as at the National Library of Scotland, the Alpine Club and Royal Geographical Society.

The project will culminate in an exhibition at the Oriental Museum in September and is supported by Durham University, Arts Council England, Montane and the Mountain Heritage Trust.


FREE of charge.

No booking necessary.


About the artist

Stephen Livingstone’s work explores human impact upon landscape and habitat, drawing upon a range of concerns from earth sciences through ecology to archaeology. He works with museum collections. Archives and libraries, often in collaboration with others, from scientists and academics to beekeepers and boatbuilders.

Founded upon meticulous research and experimentation, Stephen’s work manifests itself in a variety of forms such as the making of objects and books, installation and digital printmaking. Drawing is at the core of his practice, sometimes on a very large scale and commonly made using naturally occurring pigments.

He has a keen interest in the history of science and of scientific collections, often referring to the human stories behind the theories and discoveries, unearthing forgotten histories and beliefs along the way.

Stephen’s work with the moth and butterfly collection of Oxford University Museum has received international recognition and was exhibited in 2012 at the Museum of Art and Design in New York. He was Leverhulme Artist in Residence at Durham University's School of Engineering and Computer Science in 2015.

Oriental Museum

Elvet Hill




Tel: 0191 3345694



Open Mon-Fri 10am to 5pm, Weekends and Bank Holidays 12-5pm



(please note the Oriental Museum is closed 23rd and 24th June, 30th June and 1st July, 7th, 8th and 14th July for essential roof repairs).

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