Thursday, 24 June 2010
Friday, 18 June 2010
Well, tonight is my last night staying at Customs House B&B, and a fine week it's been with abundant breakfasts and an extremely kind and considerate owner. Above is the stunning view from my room, a constant source of entertainment. Thanks for your hospitality Anne!
Thanks too to Janice, who put me up in Heathcote last week. She makes the best scrambled eggs and ensured that there was a constant supply of home grown lettuce and strawberries in my room. Another wonderful and generous woman!
Everyone here, in fact, is so friendly and helpful. When you live in, or near, a city you get used to only saying hello to people once you get a certain distance away from a road, on a beach say, or up a mountain. The whole of Helmsdale is a 'hello zone' I have noticed. How refreshing.
I took this photo for my husband, Colin Usher, a highly talented digital media chap, who is slaving away in his Bluemungus office in Leith, while I swan off to do some knitting, read stories about bygone crofting days and wonder the hills 'documenting' ruins.
Monday, 14 June 2010
I am artist in residence at Timespan for 7 weeks, over June and July 2010, creating an exhibition (open 21st August – 10th October 2010) and a publication.
My work is usually inspired by the home and the relationship people have with the objects they put in them to make them their own. While I am here I plan to focus my attention on the history of Sutherland crofts and the crofter’s lifestyle and share some of the stories I collect about their lives, by pondering the relationship they had with their homes and the objects they put in them, and playfully transforming these into mixed media artworks. I'm thinking of constructing some sort of installation in the gallery and also making a lovely coffee table book packed with inspirational images and snippets of gathered stories.
I'm also going to work with enthusiastic members of the knitting group, who meet on a weekly basis in Timespan, and a handful of children from Helmsdale Primary School. I'm hoping they will be willing and able to help me make a piece for the exhibition. This cross-generational collaboration will not only help to develop closer relationships between the generations but also allow the knitting group to hand down some of their traditional skills to a younger generation, keeping these skills alive.
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
How exciting to be the first to write something on this blog...and I'm not even staying in the flat...yet!
I'll explain more as I go, but first, some highlights from my journey from East Lothian to Helmsdale Sutherland:
The sculptural train wash and fantastic ceiling in Perth station
Just leaving Inverness
And finally, my traveling companion (I think he was a trainspotter. He had a wee notebook and guide and was clearly chuffed to have spotted something!)(I do apologize if he spots this!)
Arrived in Helmsdale with a ridiculously heavy bag, plus camera bag, plus laptop bag, totally knackered!
I came up last August for a two week residency, invited by Timespan and Claudia Zeiske from Finefunds, to write a proposal for a future residency and here I am. I am artist in residence here for 2 months, so I'll try and keep this blog up to date with my progress.
I'm not staying in the flat for the first couple of weeks because artist, Aileen Stackhouse, is also here, for a residency funded by the Royal Scottish Academy, and is already settled in the flat.
I'll write again soon and tell you a bit about my aims for the residency. if you want to know more about who I am, I also have my own blog, which you can read here
Cheerio for now