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After a slow start to the day, we spent a very productive early afternoon at Mareel (Shetland’s premier arts venue) meeting with Bryan Peterson from Shetland Arts, who was an excellent host, showing us around the impressive facilities. We talked extensively about the potential for utilising the space at Mareel and bringing them into the project next year. I’m really excited as to where this could go now and how we can imaginatively extend our audience reach and leave behind a legacy of the project beyond the exhibition. There was a lot of laughter and we did get a bit carried away, with Kay having to act as brake on some wilder schemes for technological geekery!


After that we stopped off at the Textile Museum, the Bod of Gremista. I visited last time I was here, when my public art project was inspired by Fair Isle knitwear – a theme that proved very popular, as textiles, and in particular knit, is so integrated into Shetland culture. I have become a bit of a Fair Isle fan ever since. (My collection has been growing since I arrived back to the islands 3 weeks ago with a commission being knitted for me right now!) Anyway we had an unexpectedly fun time, as we encountered a room full of people centred around the resident spinner and knitter, everyone sharing stories and passions.

Apart from that, I have spent every spare hour this week identifying the plants I have been collecting on the walks. Very time consuming, with a few unidentified mystery specimens still loitering, but I will call upon the expert advice of Shetland Amenity Trust rangers to help.

Here is a selection of my microscope images that I intend to use as a starting point for the designs for my ceramics.



(post by Joseph)

Today was the day of FOG… It was also a day of very productive meetings with various potential partners and local arts professionals, to try and construct a viable project that can attract public funding. We know that we have a good piece of work here, but we need to go that extra mile to show public benefit in the current funding climate.

On the way to the swimming pool at the end of the day we stopped off at Bonhoga gallery to see their current exhibition Unearthed by Berenice Carrington and then set off to record the sound of wind blowing through the trees at possibly the only (small) wood on the entire island, just further on down the lane from Bonhoga.

The following sound came to me on the way back to the car when I heard a farm building door rattling in the wind, accompanied by sheep and birds. I managed to grab about 4 minutes of it between the traffic. As always, please listen on a good pair of headphones to fully appreciate the binaural recording.


(post by Joseph)

Well, it’s Day 19 (gadzooks!) and we’ve come to Mareel in Lerwick to use the internet and to get out of the Booth for a few hours. Today has been a day for arranging meetings – setting up potential collaborations with community partners and organisations. It seems to be heading in the right direction, I’m happy to say… Tomorrow, we start with a visit to the booth from Clair Aldington at Shetland Arts and then meetings in Lerwick with the Community Development Officer for West Mainland, Shetland College, plus various schools and on Friday we meet Bryan Peterson from Shetland Arts, who I fortuitously bumped into in the cafe here on his first day back at work. And finally, next Monday we’ll be meeting with the team at the Museum… (phew)

In the meantime, in the absence of any new photos or sounds, here’s a picture of some field recording equipment…


(Post by Kay)

Yesterday was the most gloriously sunny day, which we spent filming on and around two of the best beaches in Burra, packed (well, not exactly packed but quite busy; this isn’t Brighton!) with families making the most of the last couple of days of the summer holidays – tomorrow Scottish schools go back. One family arrived and I overheard them saying “This is like the Med!” Indeed it was, and quite a few people did brave the water too. (I am afraid my Scottish upbringing swimming in meltwater has finally worn off and I did not consider it for more than a fraction of a second!)

Today, on the other hand – rain, rain, rain. So we spent almost the whole day in the booth. It’s past midnight and Joseph is still working on the footage from yesterday’s filming sessions. Here he is sporting his ‘tortured artist’ face!

I am half way through identifying the botanical specimens I have been collecting for the past two weeks. This is turning out to be quite a major undertaking and challenging at that. I am taking a self-taught crash-course in botany! My new book “Shetland Wild Flowers” is proving to be invaluable, and yet, it still does not contain all the information I seek. I have been photographing highly magnified microscopic images of plants, so many of them are almost unidentifiable because my images are not representative of the actual flower. It’s also difficult because the plants are decomposing rapidly. Anyway I’m getting there!

Here are some photographs of flowers I took yesterday at Meal Beach to keep things cheerful!


(post by Joseph)

Took advantage of the spectacular weather today (after an extraordinary fog-filled early morning) to start filming a promo film. We’re thinking of starting a crowd-funding campaign to raise money (it seems like a suitable fit) and so will need a short film to publicise to our networks.

We spent the day on Meal and Minn beaches not far from Scalloway – and set up shots in the countryside of us going about our business, walking through the landscape, recording and observing wildlife… Really happy with what we achieved using a simple compact DSLR and tripod – I will edit and add sound and music later… We had a lot of fun pretending to do real stuff – it beats working!!!