Timespan's Artist in Residence programme is supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Eurpoean Community Highland Leader 2007-2013 Programme

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Exciting times! My Field Trip box is the inspiration for a major part of the Field Studies project. The idea is that participants have their own Field Trip box, to fill how they like. These will then be shown in the exhibition, displaying a creative geology of Northern Scotland. Members of the Timespan organisation - the Board, Committee members, staff and volunteers - and various communities that we have been working with, are seen collecting their boxes.

Friday, 24 September 2010

So just as Peach went out 'in the field', I did. Recording by drawing, notes and collecting stones. All the work then came together in this little field trip box I made. It then became my proposal for my project, 'Field Studies'. It consists of 20 pages, which include research and how I want to conduct the project. This little box has now been shown to many people and has prompted lots of great discussions - amazing what a bit of cardboard and masking tape can do.

Monday, 20 September 2010

The trip to this hotel in Assynt just had to be done. Through my research the geologists Peach and Horne had become very important to me, particularly Peach who worked in a very similar manner to an artist. There is a very famous photo of them sitting outside this hotel, whilst doing their ground breaking research of the area.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Journeying is central to my practice, making maps of those travels, and I avivdly collect old maps and travel guides. In Blacks 1910 Guide Book of Scotland it has tips for 'Autobilism' i.e. driving cars, and advises "that it is when touring in the extreme north that the necessity chiefly exists for timing ones supplies." As the photo shows, 100 years later the situation is very similar. In journeying around 'the extreme north' it has taken me time to adjust to this 'timing', it is one of the things that makes here so very special.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

You may have noticed that all my images have rocks in them, and that is where my research has taken me, to what is under our feet, the geologists Peach and Horne have been my inspiration. As was this, what was being exposed on a dig on Orkney - fasincating what is below us, hidden, but influencing that lie of the land.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

As Jean shows me it's all about understanding the lie of the land, knowing how to 'read' the stones. To me a pile of rocks, but actually they signify something far more important. It's all a case of knowing what you 'see' - very similar to contemporary art. Rocks keep cropping up in my research....

Saturday, 11 September 2010

I have been exploring the stunning, if slightly windy, landscape of Sutherland; and enjoying the delights of Lottie Glob's work.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Revue by Giles Sutherland

'[Close-Knit] is a credibly fresh attempt to read a series of deeply felt historical events and circumstances from a new perspective with new materials. It succeeds both as art and as a form of social cohesion.'

Please read the whole revue here.

Close-Knit Exhibition in a nutshell

Here is a wee image of all of the works in my exhibition Close-Knit. It runs until October 10th so please go and see the works in the flesh if you can.

If you'd like to know more about each piece, please click on the link below the image for more photos and information.

see more...

I would love to hear your comments?

I'm also making a wee book which will be available from the end of the month. It contains lots of lovely images and snippets of information gathered during this residency, about the lifestyle of crofters in the Highlands in the 1800s. I'm coming back to Timespan on 24th September to launch the book and talk a bit more about my experience in Helmsdale, please come?

I'll keep you posted about three other venues in the Highlands I'll also be visiting to run 'learn to knit' workshops and talk about the book.

Close-Knit Exhibition work 5

The Old Chanty

The knitted bedpan is designed in the style of one that would have been used by an old or sick man who had taken to his bed. A little worse for wear and bearing the scars of its life, not functioning quite as well as it once would have, but still loved and cared for.

Jean Sargent gets it!

Close-Knit Exhibition work 4

One Perfectly Good Bucket

I found this bucket in one of the croft ruins in Wester Helmsdale. It had no bottom on it and a big hole in the side. The crofters were (and still are) extremely resourceful and frugal, and would mend what they could before replacing it. This bucket would have been a vital piece of equipment, so I mended it by weaving it a new bottom and wrapping the hole at the side with string. It's now a perfectly good bucket again...for everything except liquid!...and is valued once more, transformed from the rejected to the treasured.

If you'd like to see what this bucket looked like when I found it and how the work was created, please read this earlier blog.

Close-Knit Exhibition work 3

For Your Own Good

I made this work with the help of some children from the local primary children and the knitting group, who meet weekly in Timespan.

The knitted installation is inspired by Badbea, a deserted clearance village 6 miles up the road from Helmsdale. Though Badbea is a dramatically stunning spot, it is windswept, rocky and desperately near an extremely high cliff edge. It is said that the families were so nervous their children would accidentally fall of the cliff, they tethered them to posts and rocks while they were out playing.

According to the 1841 Census, when Badbea was at its busiest, there were 21 children under 10yrs living there and so we have knitted 21 bootees and 3 large boulders, which aim to tell this story.

For Your Own Good was created by myself and:


Emilee Mae Simpson

Findlay Adams

Imogen Roberts

Isobel Kelly

Maddy Cowie

Megan Booth

Thalia Adams

Knitting Group

Alison Oliver

Anne Sinclair

Betty Kelly

Gerry Wood

Ina D.S. Macpherson

Jean Sargent

Joan Murray

Linda Letton

Lisa MacDonald

Lorna Jappy

Muriel Emey

Penny Woodley

Ros Hulme

Ruth Mackay

Sandra Jennison