Compressed air.

 

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Mixed media on panel – 62 x 52 cm.

On the Isle of May a cast iron pipe runs the whole length of the island which at one time carried compressed air to both foghorns at the north and south end.

May on May.

 

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Blue. Warm, so early in the morning. I go to collect my ticket from the office where there is no record of my name. ‘Are you the artist ?’ There I am. Cameras, backpacks, the scritch scratch of waterproof jackets. Sensible shoes but for one woman in a camel coat, heels, and red lipstick. Italian voices, German, American. Beyond the harbour wall the engines fall silent as a pod of dolphins pass by only a few feet from the boat, falling rising, arcing, their skin sparkles in the sun. Inside I chat to crew member Mark who is also a fire fighter in Methil. He likes working on the boat and fondly remembers a passenger throwing up all over him. The perks of the job. The island is giddy with sound. Overhead arctic terns pierce the air, puffins whirr and the gulls squabble and yell. I sit on a rock at the highest point and draw. Out at sea flotillas of guillemots, and beyond the Bass Rock shimmers in a violet haze. The birds clamour softens to a lilting murmur as their voices mingle and the day becomes drowsy.

Mountains and mapping

The Isle of May project is underway and I am about to start another project with Mark Goodwin – poet and climber. He lives south but knows many of the mountains of Scotland . I asked him if he had a favourite to which he replied – Am Bodach , which is gaelic for ‘old man’. I looked it up to discover there is another munro called A’Chailleach, which meas ‘old woman’ close by and so it it this mountain I will be climbing in a few weeks time. He says its relatively easy – that all depends. Anyway we are not sure how this collaboration will progress, but it might be drawings/text, film/text, performance/text/drawing/film. Nothing is certain yet but as always it is the way I like it, never knowing what I will encounter but the prospect is exciting and you’ll get to see my side of the story as it evolves.