As some of you know I’m just back from my time spent as Artist in Residence on board an expedition around the Northern Isles with the Clipperton Project. I’ll be writing a few blogs and visual diaries based on my month long residency.
This one is about my first leg of the Journey, from Lerwick to Dury Voe, to Bressay to Vidlin; from workshops, to early morning sunny sails it was incredible.
First stop sailing up to Lerwick. The epic 12 hour ferry Journey from Aberdeen.
I certainly got thrown into the deep end upon arriving into Lerwick to meet the rest of the crew aboard the great Selkie harboured in Victoria Pier. Our first workshop was snorkelling.
Beautiful underwater textures and walks around the rocks. Transits.
Long walks around the coast of Lerwick, Ness of Sound. Being able to draw directly from the landscape on site was a tremendous feeling, lying back on the rocks, mixing my paints in the sea water whilst looking at the seals not so far from me and escaping the noise of the town.
Shetland Museum, nature and mapping workshop. In the original Viking boat, historic tales of the harsh fishing existence and clearances of the past. Workshops in the auditorium. Watching ‘Edge of the world’ on a misty cold night in Lerwick’s Harbour altogether. Trying Mutton Shetland’s speciality.
The next workshop was down at Sumburgh Head, the Southern tip of Shetland. Jagged cliffs, massive sea bird colonies, dramatic coastal scenery and tremendous sea crashes. Upon our arrival the Mist had fully taken over the area and walking up to the point, we were unable to see the lighthouse never mind anything close to us. That’s the thing with Shetland, the mist can roll in quietly but suddenly so you are unable to see anything, no land, no sea just pure white an eerie feeling. And then of course it clears as quickly as it appeared, making way to see the vast and tremendous cliffs right In front of you.
Little windy paths getting the bus back to Lerwick and the incredible scenery.
We finally departed Lerwick when the fog cleared and made our way to the Island of Bressay and it’s comfortable Voe, my very first Sail. Sunset drawing and chatting with beers until late.
Early morning, sunny day, we took the small dingy onto the shore and explored the land. Exploring the small abandoned fishing buildings and ruined croft settlements. Finding a loch in the middle of the rubble and lying down in amongst the flowers, still water and bog cotton.
We were trying to get ready to sail and then a huge wind gale came in quick. Still anchored, mist setting in quick, the east is the foggiest. The mist quickly covered all the mountains so we made the most of the place and the eerie fog and wrote and worked on deck.
Morning in Bressay, we left early to go to Dury Voe. The weather was on our side and so we sailed up to Dury Voe in fantastic calm quiet winds, sunny clear skies, the water looked like oil the tranquillity and calmness of it. Sitting right at the front of the boat, laying down while the water from the North Sea gently sprayed up onto my face. Meeting Artists John and Jane from America. Huge walk up the hill overlooking Vidlin whilst we spotted a small loch right in the middle. So high, so calm, spent a few days in the little fishing place of Vidlin, North East Coast, Shetland.