Due to a hectic uni schedule which suddenly approached me without any warning it seemed, I was in Gala, for 6 whole weeks without leaving, before I escaped for easter at the end of March. That is a record for me….who normally stays only during the week and escapes to Edinburgh or Glasgow at the weekend…so I wasn’t able to make it to see the Farlin exhibition in St. Andrews at the beginning of March.
It was quite weird for me to pack up my work and send it, not knowing if it would get there ok. When I was at the post office, the assistant asked me if the contents of the parcel had any worth…I was like,’Eh. YES!!’ but then…it doesn’t actually….I mean my sketchbook was a whole years worth of work, and the fabric, would be worth a lot for materials and time….but it doesn’t actually have a price tag.
The Storytellers cape was made using 100% Shetland Wool, and the theme behind it was the sea. During my first few months away from Shetland, it struck me just how lucky Shetlanders are that they get to see the sea from almost every angle.
The idea of this being the story tellers cape came from the idea that the sea holds many memories and stories, good and bad, but not everyone know’s what they are. The cape is supposed to hold all these stories in one, evoke memories of the sea and places we call home to its viewers.
At the same time as the sea being an influence to the design of the fabric, Andy and I spoke about Stories and fairytales which could be connected to the sea. I came across the Scottish Fairy Tale – Rashiecoats. Although not directly related to the sea, it was the artwork from the story which inspired me….
It was her dress made of feathers and all the animals following her, that made me thing about the waves of the sea being the inspiration for our cape. (Picture from: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandsstories/rashiecoats/index.asp)
Here is the link for an extract of the story which we got permission to use in the exhibition:
While we were discussing our idea’s, and communicating through email, Andy came up with the poem…
Who wears a cloak of woven gold?
Has no-one told you glam is out,
that foxy royals favour shabby chic?
These days it’s all about the bold
rejection of convention, so shout
it from the highest turret; weak
is the woman who marries for wealth –
a rich man would happily marry himself.
Who would wear this feathered cloak?
Do you think the birds would give
the very things that make them free,
without a fight? The kind of bloke
who breaks a wing would have you live
in batteries, clipped and flightless. He
may lure you with his cooing words,
but choosing to be caged is for the birds.
Who would wear this cloak of reeds?
Hope you had the sense to keep
the gift receipt. You may start to plan
your strategies of love, the seeds
of passion germinating in the deep
of your womb, disrobing for your man
rush by rush, but girl, here’s the news;
love is just lust in sensible shoes.
The Farlin project was a really enjoyable experience to take part in, and it is so interesting to see that today, you dont need to be in the same place as someone to do a collaborative project….with today’s advance communication anything is possible!
Here are some pictures of our work from the Exhibiton at the StAnza Poetry Festival this year: