Wednesday, 22 December 2010
I am awake at 6.00 and listening to the news. I don't have to get up yet, I can stay cosy for a while. Then I hear the newsreader say that today's total Lunar Eclipse of the Full Moon at 7.40 am will be the first one to occur at the Winter Solstice for about 400 years. I have to get up . . .now. How did I not know about this? It wasn't on the news yesterday or if it was I missed it. I don't have my camera so I will paint draw, I have been watching the moon with regard to this residency at Helmsdale for almost 18 months now and I need to use colour because the more I watch the more colours I see. The colours flicker and change almost constantly - I know this is in response to the tiny movements that the eye makes and identifying the shifts is fascinating. So- not having the camera is good. It means the image in my memory will not be static. By the time I'm sorted at 6.30 and looking out of the upstairs window to the North-West the eclipse has started - a faint blurring at the left hand side of this huge full moon which has been so bright for the last few days. It's brilliance reflected back by the thick blanket of white snow and ice all around. I listen to the radio while I watch and hear Dr David Whitehouse talk about the moon - the solstice will be 15 hours after the eclipse he says and adds that when the Earth's shadow passes across the moon's face then some people will see it as red. This is because only light waves can bend around the earth reach the moon and they are primarily red. The moon reaches the horizon of the hill behind me so I do not see the Earth's red shadow moving away again. I go downstairs and I make my porridge - happy that I did not miss this moon.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Although not quite in residence, I've been in Lybster for a 6 week mixed-media residency at North Lands Creative Glass and couldn't resist a few Helmsdale visits and even an undercover test project with Rocio Jungenfeld, about more of which later. Helmsdale is in my heart, in both a romantic and a Twin Peaks kind of a way. I shot a lot of film and thought you may like to see three images from my Double Exposure project with Emily Workman - a single roll of positive transparency slide film is exposed by each of us in different countries. These were shot in Caithness and in South Wales; we hope to exhibit them next year sometime. I'll be back in January so see you all very soon and have a wonderful Christmas!
Posted by Alastair Cook at 01:12