I’ve been working on a series of short observational spoken-word sound poems. Each is based on an object that Sarah and I have found as we’ve explored Islay together for our collaborative art project. Here’s a little excerpt of one:

Looking at three parts of a whole,
Inside, outside and somewhere else,
Solitary with a hint of activity and mystery,
Placed and maintained for a function that escapes me,
Paths leading to and from,
With water weaving all around.


Our final New Collaboration Bursary weekend took place over the 6th and 7th of September. For our last weekend of working we decided to re-visit silicone mold making and to aim to get two plaster sculptures cast so we could see the results of this ‘home-grown’ method.

The results were good but didn’t capture the detail, delicacy and finesse we’d hoped for. After we got the casts out of the molds and reflected on the results we pressed ahead with buying a proper liquid silicone polymer that hopefully will give us smoother and more delicate results.

Overall it was good to try the process again as both Sarah and I haven’t worked with casting before. Now at least we have a better understanding of the process and feel more confidant with working with more professional (and expensive) materials.

As well as working on casting techniques we also aimed to discuss how we can move on with the next stage of the project – and turn this research into an exhibition and installation type of experience. Now we know what we’d like to make as a final piece we feel ready to develop our work further and continue to collaborate even after the A-N New Collaboration Bursary Award has been used up.


…large box constructions suspended from the ceiling by chain or steel wire. Each box will be have a fine, light wooden frame encased in drawings on frosted draft paper. Laing’s drawings attempt to abstractly identify and describe a found object. Walker’s audio work played through a single speaker will hang in the center of the light box, presenting a spoken-word description of the same object. These will almost form impromptu poems, off the cuff notions and feelings about an object. The boxes will be large enough for a viewer to walk inside, to be enveloped by the drawings, spoken words and sounds…


The Ard was one of the sites that Sarah and  I visited twice during our project and it seems to have a draw for us.

I usually try to take my dog Nacho on a walk around The Ard in Port Ellen every few days. It’s a small but beautiful peninsula near my home with purple heathers, angular rock faces, fishing boats and small sheds for fishing and other items. All the paths have just been made by the shoes and feet of walkers over time – not man-made or gravel paths.

Normally, I walk a certain way from north to south. When I chose to walk this time, I went the opposite way, backwards for the sole reason of walking the way I wasn’t used to.

I looked around me more, saw colour and shape more intensively as I was out of my routine. I found I took more care with Nacho and really enjoyed the walk as it felt new, fresh and somehow different. Like a parallel universe I had dropped into for a time. How to get into a routine to get out of it so you can see.

For a brief moment I forgot where I was, my vision filled with purple heather, grass and peat. Then I realised, and relief flooded back and I continued to walk.