What is Water?

What is Water?

The answer seems obvious. But it’s not so simple. In Scotland’s mild, damp climate we tend to take water for granted. But just now the loch beside our house is as low as I’ve ever seen it. The expanse of dried mud and stone all around its shore keeps on getting wider...
Shimmeringness

Shimmeringness

There’s a very particular quality to the light here in Orkney, as anyone who has been here will know. Maybe it’s to do with the Northerly latitude, or the open landscape and big skies, or the presence of the sea and bright lochs all around us. Orcadian...
Silver leaf, moths and mending

Silver leaf, moths and mending

It’s been a slow spring here in Orkney, with the cold dragging its heels even as the light floods back and the evenings open up. But memories of the extraordinary blue-and-silver days of snow and hard frost we had back in February and March are coming back in...
Time, boredom and that 4am feeling

Time, boredom and that 4am feeling

When I was a kid, stuck in the family caravan in the Trossachs on yet another rainy weekend I’d get fed up of reading or drawing or staring out the window, and complain to my parents of boredom. I can remember my mother answering briskly “If you’re bored it’s because...
Watching the winter skies

Watching the winter skies

  At this time of year in Orkney the light fades so fast it seems to start getting dark just after lunch. As the Winter Solstice draws near we’re switching lights on by 3.30pm. By 4 o’clock in the afternoon the windows have become black mirrors. We draw the...
ORKNEY SHORE

ORKNEY SHORE

The natural environment of Orkney is strongly influencing my recent work, particularly the constant, dynamic movement of water and weather. I am thinking a lot about what it means to live on an island surrounded by the wide sea horizon, and experiencing that as a kind...

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