Stephen George Rae
I was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. My early career was in science and agronomy, working in Developing Countries on sustainable food production, and teaching AIDS Awareness in sub-Saharan Africa. My first degree is a BSc with Honours in Botany from the University of Glasgow.
Upon returning from overseas I studied for a BA with Honours in Fine Art at Cumbria Institute of the Arts; then ordained as a Buddhist monk for a few years studying Buddhist philosophy.
I returned to my art practice in 2011 to concentrate on contemporary abstract painting; and illustration. In 2016 I co-founded Bardsea-Green Films, and we are now a group of filmmakers, folklorists and performance artists making sketch series, short films, and documentary. Also in 2016, I was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts. Exploring folklore through the medium of short film, Land of Lore Films was founded in 2020.
I’ve had an interest in folklore and history since my youth. My family farmed along the coast of south Ayrshire, and my grandfather would recount tales of the sea people, of witches, cannibals, and of ghost stories. I continue this tradition as the Bard of Cumberland, a folklore, film, and storytelling project that arose after moving to Cumbria in 2003, and whilst studying as a Bard within the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I also share folklore from Ayrshire as #AyrshireFolklore on Twitter.
I currently reside in Ulverston, on the edge of the Lake District National Park.