Artist Residency in a lighthouse

I’ve just finished my stint as Artist in Residence at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse here in Shetland!

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It came at the exact right time when I was in need of much head space and space in general to get all of my ideas out onto paper and not only process my Svalbard Expedition but think about where my work is going in general. As someone who is also very interested in geology, I spent a great amount of time travelling around the entire mainland of Shetland researching the geology and documenting it.

I even managed to get up to the Northern Isles of Yell and Unst, two remarkable Islands that are shaped by the sea and are home to some of the most fascinating geology and landscapes I’ve ever come across.Β Almost everywhere you go here you can see the edge of the world.

Some people may wonder why I chose to spend the month of November here in Shetland, yes there is a distinct lack of light and the winter storms are closing in, however I found it important to be here at a time when everything was going to be more heightened. As someone who is an avid lover of wild weather and feeling small against the elements, it couldn’t have been at a more perfect time to be living in a lighthouse when the high winds and rain storms battered down around me. Sumburgh Head lies at the Southernmost point of Shetland, right out on the cliffs, high above the sea, completely exposed to all elements. Most of the time I was here on my own, spending my days wandering around the area, driving out to place of natural interest to sit and draw whilst having all of this time and space here on my own above the cliffs to work away. And what views I had! Because the visitor centre is closed now for the winter season, this meant that I had full run of the building, a panoramic space to work, so much room to create and look out to surrounding cliffs, a truly immersive experience!

Even though I had all of this time on my own which I loved and absolutely needed, i found it important to not isolate myself here, I was really keen to meet some of the amazing creative people that call their home Shetland. November was a perfect time for me being here as the Relate North Conference was on, a full on few days of talks relating to the north and how we engage with it, The annual Shetland Craft Fair and many solo hiking trips to the North of Shetland. It was also a pleasure being able to meet up with some of the many creative people that live here in Shetland, all so talented and have a common appreciate for Island living and the unique landscapes which surround them.

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I’m now going to show you a few photos of a selection of my new work made here combined with some of the places where I’ve hiked out to and have inspired this new work.

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As always, if you would like to follow along on my adventures and new art work day to day here are some links to my social media.

Website

Blog

Instagram

Twitter

Thanks again everyone for reading my blog, I’m now going to take a little break from work in December and head over to the Isle of Eigg! Looking forward to getting back to my favourite place!

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6 comments

  1. Love the art work. As a writer/poet (and even as a lover of the water months) I would love to spend Winter in a place like that. You do have heating though, yes? πŸ™‚

  2. I was the artist in residence at Sumburgh Head in March! It was a fantastic adventure and I loved the extremes of the weather at that time of year as well. While I was there I also made it up to Yell and Unst and am so glad I did. Also, the light house accommodation was so cozy and I felt so lucky to have access to the panoramic room for most of my time there – they opened for tourist season on March 25.
    Here are a few posts from my adventure: http://jackielakely.com/?p=72

    1. This is an amazing blog Jackie thanks for sharing this! It’s always lovely to hear of artist’s experiences on the residency! It’s such an incredible space isn’t it? Your work is lovely! πŸ™‚

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