voyage

A stopover in Shetland

So up until now I’ve not really stopped travelling. I left Norway the third week of May and then went straight to Shetland, then onto the mainland, then up to Ullapool, over to the Isle of Lewis where I travelled down through the Isle of Harris, Berneray, North Uist, South Uist back over to Mallaig where I then caught the ferry to Eigg to where I am right now. Talk about going the long way around. I’m going to spend quite a bit of time though on this post showing some of my photographs and travels around Shetland, a place that will forever inspire me, also because I took so many photos whilst there and had such a great adventure.

I spent only a few days in Shetland having explored the Islands quite thoroughly in the past few years and me being me I decided to fly back to the Scottish Mainland via Shetland from Bergen, a good way of connecting the landscapes together. My accommodation for my few days in Shetland was the beautiful homely and well situated Ortolan House B&B, a large Georgian townhouse dating from the 1780’s, well located in the central conservation ‘lanes’ area of Lerwick, less than a minute’s walk from the bustling main street which is home to all amenities. Ortolan has a wonderful well-established walled garden with stunning views overlooking Lerwick’s busy harbour and the tranquil island of Bressay. The property offers two exclusive bedrooms with an emphasis on having a relaxed and comfortable stay and I certainly did have that! Here’s a few images of the accommodation and the places I explored whilst on the Northern Isles.

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Sunday

My first full day began with a trip over to the neighbouring Island of Bressay. A quiet place but home to many wonderful clear coastal routes, I aimed for a few hours there to take in the sights and also view Lerwick from a different perspective. I spent my time wandering around the Island and taking sanctuary in the beaches that surround the west coast of the Island. I then spent the rest of the day wandering around the Mareel and Shetland museum, always a great place for finding new contemporary art that’s inspired from the unique Shetland landscape. It was then onto Burra for a coastal hike with a couple of local artist friends, impressive geology and wild seascapes leading us around the shore.

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Monday

I set off in the morning for an Island I’d never been to before. I’ve been to every single one of the Shetland Islands now apart from Foula and Fair Isle, that is a must for in the autumn of this year! And so Whalsay it was, without a clear plan I headed off for the ferry with just one aim, try and hike around most of the Island and see the unique natural wonders and coastal paths.

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Tuesday

On my last day of my short trip I hiked out to the Knab, one of my favourite coastal walks in Shetland and ideally located so close to Lerwick, such incredible views over to Bressay and down to the south of the mainland. It was then onto a boat trip around Bressay with Shetland Sea Bird Tours, the same lovely couple who ran the accommodation I was staying in. Turns out both Rebecca and Phil not only run their homely Ortolan B&B they also are very knowledgeable and expert guides on bird and sea life. Not only do they stock an enviable natural history library for their guests but with their combined knowledge and expertise they are perfectly placed to advise and even facilitate your time in the field. The trip to Shetland was perfect in gaining some inspiration from a landscape that so richly appeals to me, and leave with a new appreciation for the varied geology there.

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Again another wonderful trip, I’ve realised that my blog is turning a bit into a travel, photography and art blog which I don’t mind one bit. I’ve gone from one project in one country to the next consistently this year and I find it good for myself and reflection through my art to document and write what I’ve been up to in the place. It’s also really fulfilling for me to share it with you all so again thanks for reading this. My next blog is going to be about my further onward travel around the wonderful Scottish Islands where I’ve been recently, it’s good to be back in my home country, a place that inspires me to the highest level and always will do.

Arctic Circle Expedition 2016

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SO the big news everyone is that I have been invited among a select group of artists and scientists worldwide to participate in The Arctic Circle Residency Programme in October 2016 for three weeks around the remote and northern Archipelago of Svalbard. I found out I was selected for this unique trip back in June of last year but it´s only recently that I have started to prepare for this amazing trip and start to plan the funding side of things!

Arctic Circle Website

I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity as not only is it a place that will deeply influence and enrich my practice, it is also a place I have wanted to venture to for a long time because of the unique landscape and impressive geological wonders. For three weeks the other residents and I will sail together on an ice class barkentine tallship exploring Svalbard, a High Arctic archipelago just ten degrees from the North Pole, creating, collaborating, observing and documenting as we go.

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This residency is incredibly important to me as it is in Svalbard where the effects of progressive climate change are the most apparent and where wildlife and the sea ice is significantly under threat. It is a place of wonder yet fragility and I find it important for my practice to record the shifting of the landscapes and the effects that global warming is inflicting on the Arctic.

I aim to record, document, and build up a large body of new drawings/ paintings, prints and photographs all made on the voyage through the Arctic and all directly connected to the place and what I observe whilst on the expedition. I hope to instill love for the landscapes in people so they too can be inspired to conserve this place that is significant to our future as a whole.

Here is one of the press releases with some more information on my upcoming trip! Dundee University

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Anyway, the reason for this post is that, I NEED ALL OF YOUR HELP!

Even though I’ve been awarded this unique residency, I still must raise funds for expenses related to this expedition. I must raise £4,300 to join the residency which will cover all of the expenses on the expedition and secure my place. The remaining funding will go towards travel costs to and from Longyearben, cold weather clothing and art materials which will be used to make new work on the residency.

By supporting me on this project, not only will you be investing in me and an important expedition but you will also receive unique benefits by funding this project! Any donation from you will go a long way in realising this opportunity.

To support me and invest in this significant project please click on this link for my indiegogo campaign and watch the video!

Reaching The Pole

If you are interested in helping but unable to donate, please share this with your friends and social circles. Any additional exposure I can get is an immense help!

Thank you all so much in advance!