Tiree in your words is a collaborative project with Fiona Dix. The aim was to involve as many people as possible in a project that reached across all community sectors. In November 2012 we asked people to tell us what Tiree meant to them in up to six words. Other opportunities for participation included papier mache box making events, and a Box Opening Event to record all the words and set up a public exhibition. 143 people took part and we collected almost 900 words. For the full list and word clouds showing the most common words visit the project blog.
The results were uplifting, sad, facinating and shocking but mostly a refreshing view on what Tiree means to the people who live here.
A series of works inspired by Pale Fire, a book by Vladimir Nabokov and thoughts of imaginary lands. The resulting work features a fictional cartography, the land of the Sea Bears; the places they frolic and roam, nests of fish skeletons and moss, and gardens of fictional plants and the seascapes they look over
" The sun lures the sea, the moon steals from the sun, the sea dissolves the moon."
Making begins with collecting and preparing material; double-glazed window units, wine, gin and champagne bottles. The bottles are collected in groups to ensure compatibility and then processed into flat glass sheets before use.
Everyone on Tiree is a representation of the Tiree population based on Dunbar’s studies of community. Professor Robin Dunbar has suggested there is cognitive limit of 150 people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships.
Tiree has 750 people. Are we one community or five? This work invites the viewer to reflect on their relationships within their community. Every community is complex and multi-faceted. What use is a concept such as Dunbar’s number for people living in a community like Tiree?
900 x 340 x 8mm
100% recycled kiln formed glass.
Working with recycled glass lends itself well to mural projects with groups. Individual tiles making up a larger whole provide opportunities for involvement in design, making and installation.
I had been offered a place to attend the master class “Give and Take” with Jacqueline Poncelet at Northlands when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the weeks before the class started I had an operation to remove both the lump and the lymph nodes on one side. I was due to travel to Glasgow and start chemotherapy as soon as the master class ended. Being at Northlands was a great distraction! Some of the pieces I made ‘Happy Cells’ and ‘Cushion for Dave’, (my confidante Dave the bear) were definitely a bit of art therapy.
The days raced by and it was uncannily like being at home, working late to ‘get the kiln on’. But the difference was the freedom to experiment and the gentle encouragement to do so, to see where things led rather than being driven by saleability. It was inspiring to be around other artists and to gather ideas and inspiration and best practice allowing a new perspective to develop and new work to emerge. We experimented with shape and colour to completely change the nature of a piece. We did lots of experiments with moulds, finishes, paints, decals and sand casting. I loved my time at Northlands. The accommodation at a family b and b was superb. The evening meals in adjacent villages were fun. We went on trips to some stunning local sites and were free to explore locally. Caithness was wild and beautiful, and the set up at Northlands is vibrant and supportive. I was almost ready for the chemo…………….
My studio was renovated by Bruce Kemp from the ruin of a stone byre. It is luxuriously single storey with a traditional curved roof. Overhead windows make it fantastically light even on a dull day. It's easy to heat and there is enough space for a workshop and a gallery.