Monthly Archives: August 2016

From Lewis to Harris… a-n travel bursary….

Travelling south now, little by little. In Tarbert I saw sumptuous rolls of gorgeous Harris Tweed fabrics, pinks, violets, gold green moor-redolent hues.

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I’ve been drawing every day, sitting and tuning into the spirit of place. A particular favourite of mine was Ardroil Sands at Uig.

As a seal Ardroil Sands Drawing on Ardroil Sands Drawing, Water, Ardroil sands

 

It’s the place where the Lewis Chessmen were found – apparently by a cow hooking her horn around the handle of the casket. The enormous beaches were formed from the countless shell fragments of millions of shell-covered creatures who lived just outside the bay for centuries. I’ve enjoyed walking through ankle deep tide risings and experiencing the sea all around me, feeling her power and relentless nature. I’ve gathered handfuls of sea water for my drawings; I’ve scrabbled through peat bogs and dug my hands into their soft blackness, taking little handfuls to draw with.

It has been lovely to watch the eagle with two young rising on thermals at the foot of the nearby mountain, and to listen to the peeping sound of the sandpipers feeding at the tide-line.
I’ve lain in bed listening to the wing beats of ravens. When there is no one around they fly much lower and the pumping sound of air being pressed down was mesmerizing. I’ve spent time watching one raven who croaked incessantly, and always flew with beak open.
I’m very grateful indeed to a-n Artists Information Co. for supporting me so generously on this wonderful exploratory trip. I’ll be writing a full blog on the whole journey soon.

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At Aird Uig, near ex-MOD base. Wild, naked, raw, pure, powerful. Place of eagle feasts and peat.

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At Calanais Standing Stones. Spectacular, powerful.

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In the sea with bell, Marcus Vergette, Lewis

I swam beside this beautiful bell by Marcus Vergette (one of a series) which rings at each high tide, sending song along the valley, up the hill to the cemetery. It was a perfect day. Warm, and the sea like crystal. It took my breath away but I was so glad I immersed myself. I felt so different afterwards.

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Travelling south now, little by little. In Tarbert I saw sumptuous rolls of gorgeous Harris Tweed fabrics, pinks, violets, gold green moor-redolent hues.   I’ve been drawing every day, sitting and tuning into the spirit of place. A particular favourite of mine was Ardroil Sands at Uig.   It’s the place where the Lewis Chessmen… Read more »

Stromness – a brief post – more when I’ve Wifi again!

I am looking out of the window at the south shore of Loch Broom, where the water runs down to Ullapool. I’ll be getting the ferry soon to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.
A week ago on the drive here my heart soared as mountains rose from the horizon. Purple flanks, pink breathing masses of ancient rock.
Clouds as spirit whales over shark black sea; Orca pods skim the harbour waters in beautiful Stromness.
I saw a correspondence between the breasts of birds and the waters which swelled and carried them when they left their posts on the harbour breakwater at Helmsdale.
With reference to my work I’ve been thinking about what Barthes calls the ‘punctum’…a “detail that pierces the viewer and opens up the image, defying the closure any labelling implies” (Bronfen, The Knotted Subject).

I loved seeing the works of Barbara Hepworth at the Pier Arts Centre:  the fineness of her elegant figures which suggested being in landscape held the heart of the experience of standing against the wind and amazed before the Stones of the Ring of Brodgar.

Crawling into the hilly wombs of earth finding tiny bird wall piercings, so many ears to hear you in there. Runes like drawings made by earth herself, catching noble profiles growing upon their rocky forebears.

It was great meeting Neil Firth, the Director, and Carol Dunbar again. It was fascinating to hear about the Orcadian people, their openness, their open-mindedness, their expansiveness; they are an exploring people, their influence wide, clear.

For pictures please see my Instagram account – katewaltersartist – until I have time and WiFi to upload them here!

 

I am looking out of the window at the south shore of Loch Broom, where the water runs down to Ullapool. I’ll be getting the ferry soon to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. A week ago on the drive here my heart soared as mountains rose from the horizon. Purple flanks, pink breathing masses… Read more »

a-n travel bursary beginning…..

Travelling across the fine and large county of Sutherland today was such a joy, and I found myself feeling very grateful to a-n for their funding – making this adventure possible.

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I enjoyed meeting the curator at Timespan in Helmsdale, and I had a great time staying with Ann MacDonald beside the harbour, near to where the washing filled pinkly with breeze, and the cormorants dried their wings.

A heron flew over my head as I stood watching the birds leave their drying posts. It found another heron and together they performed acrobatics over the harbour.WP_20160809_061

 

More on my blog for a-n which I will be writing soon!

And some photos on Instagram and Twitter when I can find Wi-Fi….

Travelling across the fine and large county of Sutherland today was such a joy, and I found myself feeling very grateful to a-n for their funding – making this adventure possible. I enjoyed meeting the curator at Timespan in Helmsdale, and I had a great time staying with Ann MacDonald beside the harbour, near to… Read more »