Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Away from it all
Look, blue sky! Just back from a week on the lovely Isle of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland, and believe it or not the weather was great. After paddling in the beautiful clear water at this beach, amongst amazing shoals of tiny sand eels and all sorts of other fascinating sea creatures, we had to go in search of emergency ice cream!
It’s a fantastic place for wildlife. We saw the white tailed sea eagles on their nest (with chicks) at the RSPB EagleWatch, red deer and feral goats on the hills, too many different birds to mention. Our croft was home to dozens of wild rabbits, lots of them black. Best of all, we watched otters every night close to our (very remote) cottage, both swimming/hunting and on the shore.
Not having the skill, patience or equipment of a Simon King, this is the only photo we attempted – it’s nicer to just enjoy the moment really.
I was also unexpectedly lucky on the arty side. At Calgary Art in Nature there was a walk through woodland scattered with sculptures that really suited their setting.As you can see on the website, there’s a huge variety of pieces all made with natural materials – mostly by very skilled artists, but also a few quite simple ideas that I’m wondering about adapting for our garden.
But the best stroke of luck was being on Mull at just the right time to catch a new exhibition by Sarah Morpeth, at the An Tobar arts centre. I’d been feeling sorry to just miss Deirdre Nelson’s Bird Yarns, and only found out a couple of days before we set off that this exhibition opened the day we arrived.
The exhibition is called “I Know Where I’m Going” after the film that inspired it - a film actually made on Mull in 1945. It was seeing some of this work a few years ago at the Platform Gallery that first got me hooked on Sarah’s artist’s books and paper cuts, and then I succumbed to a couple of her little multiples at Origin. So it was thrilling to see the whole body of work in its spiritual home!
“For each of three locations, Sarah has made a new work, building on an existing collection of artists books and installations that she had previously made for the main characters in the film. Using printed and intricately hand cut paper, featuring dialogue from the film, Sarah has constructed a body of work that comments intelligently on the layers of meaning in the film.”
Really wonderful work, beautifully presented – and you can see a lot of it, from its development through to installation, on Sarah’s blog here.
Can you tell I had a good time? The only thing I didn’t do that I expected to was the stitching I took for a rainy day. Including my weekly sample project, so I’m a bit behind with that. But I did manage to do (or at least start) a few pages in a tiny sketchbook, which I might show you later!