The Great Lines Project/Blog

Since 2014 I have been chasing the history of a line.

Contour lines on maps were first invented 400 years ago, or perhaps only 250; depending on whether isobaths (the submarine version) count. If you stay above ground then Newcastle born Charles Hutton is the man.

I assumed foolishly that there would be a book – one academic – that had pulled together all the strands: who first, why, who saw their map and created the next evolution. But that book isn’t there. Instead I’ve been amassing leads in the Netherlands, Italy, Britain and France, slowly pulling together the threads of the story.

Bear with me, if you like maps, walking, art or detective stories you might like: The Great Lines Projectcontour 07

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Traces of Place

I have caught the ‘blog bug’.

With 2 new residencies – temporally and geographically within a gnat’s crotchet of each other – a new blog is begun: Traces of Place follow me there if you want!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABlogging for me has become an essential tool for keeping track during a residency. I am a lover of note-books but a blog facilitates the sharing of thoughts, feeling and reflections.

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Each time I take the ferry to Arran there’s the feeling of a perfect 40 minutes. When the weather permits I sit on deck and watch it grow or diminish in size depending on the journey. There’s a point where the whole island seems encompassed in my gaze, ready to be framed in a photograph: manageable; a feeling quickly dispelled once on land.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am back on Arran to begin the process of creating a new artwork for which there’s so much to figure out! From a distance anything looks possible: islands distilled to their outline, flat Pladda or Ailsa Craig’s impossible bump rising from the water. Up close in my ‘glade’ however “No ant is too small to fail to deserve our attention, no microbe too hard to understand, no fungus too obscure…”  Richard Fortey

If you’d like to see how it’s going, there’s my blog: Nature of Change

Also, if you’re heading north in May, you might want to check out another island project: Julia Barton – both excellent artist and good friend – will be working on Isle Martin, the biggest of the Summer Isles in Loch Broom, her blog is titled: Littoral Art Project

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Nature of Change

It’s been a long time coming but finally the postcard packs have arrived: ten different images from the residency in a rather smart cover, they’re available from the museum shop and can be posted out for £2.50 (plus P&P).

There’s more. I have just begun another residency this time with the National Trust for Scotland on the Isle of Arran. I learnt so much during my brief period at the Heritage Museum, an aspect I came to love during that time was keeping a blog; if you have enjoyed following Pictish Fish as much as I have writing it, please do take a look at my new venture: Nature Of Change.mountain overlay


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What Else?

So many loose ends, I have just updated the exhibition page and created one for credits which has been niggling me for some time; do you try to include everyone who helped or keep it generic? So many lists were begun that never ended, I have now settled for the latter.

On a trawl back through photos I realise there are too few of the many people who got involved over the course of the residency. But I love this one.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Keeping a Blog

The blogging process has ‘taken time’; both time ‘consumed’ – on technical issues – and time ‘created’ for thinking, reflecting and sharing. On balance it’s been a good, enriching process, and it is coming to an end.

There are a few more images to share, plus another video perhaps – preferably with a sound snippet from the Fish Tales – but this must wait till Aidan has time to help.

In the meantime the ‘project evaluation’ calls. If you have followed the blog, I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts on it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Shadow Play

You can’t have everything. I had wanted the ‘missing fish’ – the void in the [K]not net – to be clearly visible. But in getting the lighting right for other parts of the show this became the casualty. So late on the last night Aidan and I shifted spot-lights in an attempt to reinstate it, we didn’t have much success, though other effects were fascinating.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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