photo by Alex Boyd


I am currently developing new costume with the singer Hanna Tuulikki for Away with the Birds . The singers will be performing in water so it will present a few exciting challenges. The Robe like costume for previous performances were inspired by sea birds such as the Oystercatcher and incorporated ideas of bird display through flashes of colour reminiscent of kilt pleats. You can experience a taster HERE of the project.  We have also just launched a kickstarter appeal so if you would like to get involved have a look HERE

'Hanna Tuulikki’s Air falbh leis na h-eòin is a body of work exploring the mimesis of birds in Gaelic song. On the 29th and 30th of August it becomes a sited performance on the Isle of Canna. The following month it will migrate to Tramway in Glasgow, with performances on the 19th and 20th September.



The Kildas
In March I travelled to St Kilda in New Zealand and Melbourne as part of a Commonwealth 20 for 14 project with Creative Scotland. You can follow progress of the project HERE


Her main areas of interest are the people of present day St Kildas. There is no ‘Saint’ Kilda (It is said that a Dutch cartographer wrongly named the Scottish Island). Deirdre would like to celebrate contemporary ‘Saint’ Kildans and create a series of crafted awards which celebrate people/‘saints’ she meets along the way. The project links both past and present, north and south and the people who inhabit the Kildas. It is hoped the project will present contemporary insight into St Kildas rather than the often over romanticised view of the Scottish island. 
'More than 4,000 people visited St Kilda Scotland last year – a fourfold increase in ten years – including passengers from 20 cruise ships.”The challenge is keeping that intangible quality that everyone gets when they go there. Its the sense of place, the atmosphere”, says Susan Bain, the NTS Western Isles officer. Scotland.  She adds: “Perhaps it has come to symbolise all the evacuations from islands, but St Kilda is dominated by the evacuation and I think its a shame it’s what it is known for: the time it was struggling and failed. For thousands of years it thrived and people were successful, yet its history is dominated by its last gasp.” via  The Scotsman































LÙB | LOOP maps the Isle of Skye through socks and celebrating stock clubs, 
crofting, spinning and the use of local wool. Exhibition continues until the 25th of March at Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre. Portree. Skye. 

You can follow the project on the  LÙB | LOOP blog here 













I am delighted to be part of the ceramic New Beginnings at Nantgarw China Works in Wales 1st March - 27th April.  Plates made as part of Artist Object Project in 2010 will become part of this exhibition exploring the realms of the domestic, figurative and sculptural. 








My latest exhibition Lùb|Loop with Atlas will be at Skye + Lochalsh Archive Centre, Portree, Skye 4-25 March

Lùb | Loop is a contemporary project which celebrates socks, culture, and the communities producing wool in present day Skye

Sock knitting has long been part of textile history and economy and in the past much of the wool in Skye was spun and developed into thread for weaving with a small amount kept for knitting. The wool used for making socks often came from the left over scraps at the fanks after shearing. Knitted socks were also sold or sent on to companies outside Skye.

I visited crofters from a range of stock clubs across Skye and Raasay. Crofters have each donated a fleece that will be spun by a spinner from Skye. Creating a LOOP, from fleece to spun wool to knitting, individual socks have been made to highlight wool; crofting, craft skills and the feet that walk the land. Lùb | Loop celebrates the collaborative skills of the people involved but also highlights the value and potential use of local wool.


Each unique sock has been created using Skye wool and celebrates and places value on both wool and all those involved in wool production. Wool is a natural, resilient, biodegradable fibre and it is hoped that each sock will walk the land of Skye and have a long life beyond the project.   I value having the opportunity to meet both crofters and spinners involved in Lùb | Loop. Their knowledge and skill have been invaluable to this collaborative project and I have learnt so much from all involved.  


Lùb | Loop is part of year long project Spincycleskye. 

Spincycle-Skye is a year long multi-disciplinary project funded by Creative Scotland, looking at culture, performance, music, visual arts, and crafts. Taking as its starting point the theme of spin, it draws inspiration from many areas and will explore things that revolve, turn, rotate, mirror, and repeat.


Over the past year I have been working with Atlas arts as lead artist on the project SPINCYCLESKYE . In collaboration with Atlas arts a series of Spin related activities have taken place including Nick Hand cycling from spin to spin on Skye, a performance by Sampler Culture Clash and film screenings in laundrettes.  

I am currently completing work for Lúb|Loop in collaboration with crofters and spinners on Skye and beyond. We have also launched the Great Welly Sock Challenge encouraging a community of knitters to knit welly socks in support of Row St Kilda to Skye.  You can download a pattern HERE







Sexy Peat exhibiton is now open at The Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh as part of SeaChange exhibition with Cape Farewell .  YOU can follow the research blog HERE



Sea Change is an exhibition of new work made on Scotland's Western and Northern Isles. The exhibition also includes Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin - New print works created in response to the Lewis peatlands (Highland Print Studio in partnership with Cape Farewell).


Between the Lines 

an exhibition curated by Melanie Egan at Harbourfront Arts Centre Toronto  21st September _ 29th December



You just never know where a line may lead.
 

It may be a path into a world real or imagined, or a thread that twists and turns without a foreseeable end. A line can mark the passage of time and the beating of our heart. We cling to life-lines in times of distress. They can anchor us or allow a kite to soar. Lines can create order or confusion, guide you on the straight-and-narrow or direct you nowhere. 

A line is one of the most basic components of art and design practice and these eight artists cleverly lead you on.


– Melanie EganHead, Craft, Harbourfront Centre


An Aran sweater purchased on Ebay is deconstructed and is transformed into a baby blanket. The blanket references the passing down of garments, tradition and craft. Often the line of tradition and skill is broken. Down the Line blanket allows for both historical and contemporary to exist in a contemporary functional textile.








   

I am currently working on a project Tir mo Ruin and have spent the last two weeks on the Isle of Lewis. 
Sexy Peat/Tir mo Rùin is a project that will create a body of contemporary visual art in response to the rich ecology and heritage of the Lewis Peatlands in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. The Lewis Peatlands, and their blanket bog and moorlands, form a remarkable landscape both visually and environmentally. Beyond their initially austere or barren appearance the peatlands reveal an abundance of colour, texture and life forms in constant interaction with dynamic weather systems. These features have inspired the people who have lived with the moor for generations. This project will investigate and celebrate that land, those people and their heritage.

Another important reason for carrying out this project is to highlight the significant and largely unrecognised role that peatlands play in global climate regulation. As carbon sinks, they are similar in importance to tropical rainforests, and yet they too are being damaged and destroyed at an unprecedented rate.
Sexy Peat will make a body of contemporary visual art that raises the profile of peatlands and their environmental value, unearths their material complexity and celebrates the continuing interweaving of their human and biological realms.  

You can follow the project blog here   and via Capefarewell Seachange site here







Between the Line 

I am beginning to work on a piece for 'Between the line' an exhibition of textiles curated by Melanie Egan at Harbourfront Centre Toronto. ( 21 September - 29th December )

Developing ideas explored in Aran 0.5 (repurposing a traditional aran knit jumper) purchased on Ebay), I hope to develop the theme of Between the Line  in exploring ideas around Lines' of heritage and physical lines in the creation of stitch in knit. 


a line = a number of persons standing one behind the other and waiting their turns at or for something; queue 
down the line = in the future 


a. Ancestry or lineage.
b. A series of persons, especially from one family, who succeed each other: a line of monarchs; comes from a long line of bankers.
c. A strain, as of livestock or plants, developed and maintained by selective breeding.



Spincycleskye 


I have been working on Spincycle Skye project recently with Atlas Arts  on Skye a multi-disciplinary project looking at visual culture, performance, music and crafts, In collaboration with Atlas Arts I have been  exploring the theme of spin, revolution and all things that revolve and turn. The project will encompass workshops, work-in-progress presentations, community events and exhibitions of new work across all art forms. You can follow the Spincycle-Skye tumblr blog.  The project has been funded by Creative Scotland 


On 23rd and 24th August SpincycleSkye will be linking with Skye Bike Festival to present part of the project. Nick Hand will be taking a SPIN around the Isle of Skye on his bike and will recording all things spin as he goes and David Littler  + Jason Singh of Sampler Culture Clash will perform the results of their own research into spin on skye.  


from source to land 
a spincycleskye project

In a project celebrating stock clubs, wool and all things spin, I am developing new work on Skye in collaboration with crofters, spinners and those who walk the land of Skye. In addition we will be launching 'the great wellie sock challenge' a community knit project in support of Row St Kilda to Skye  


Head phones for Irene.
Blow-in Bespoke exhibition at An Tobar . Isle of Mull

Irene is a glamorous grandmother. She likes to dance but her husband doesnt. She once met the Beatles in Belfast.  


Ruth Littles essay for Blow-in Bespoke can be found HERE
Mash up Mull + Lithuania . 
work in progress= wristwarmers knit in Ardalanish wool from Isle of Mull

'Wrist warmers were part of the national costume in Lithuania, where the climate is cold and even summers can be chilly. Both men and women wore wrist warmers year round, indoors and outdoors, because they add warmth without encumbering the hands.'
his + hers  labcoat +apron


apron for a dog loving ceramicist (with a messy studio) who lives with an evolutionary biologist (with a tidy lab ) .


an apron , labcoat, shopping bag, laptop sunvisor, headphones, customised shirt, messenger bag, hankerchief, curtains = items in Blow-in Bespoke exhibition at An Tobar, Tobermory Isle of Mull  5th July - 28 August . 
An embroidered  lab coat for an evolutionary biologist .

After an interesting visit to an evolutionary biologist lab on the Isle of Mull, I have been working on motifs relating to 'aristotles lantern' a beautiful and complex bone structure from a sea urchin.  I found this on a shelf surrounded by interesting pale and chalky bones and elephants teeth. White on white embroidery seemed a perfect choice for a very neat and tidy biologist!  




Aristotles Lantern


a complex arrangement of muscles and calcareous teeth and platesforming an eversible organ in most echinoids, functioning inmastication.
Origin: 
 so called from a reference by Aristotle to a sea urchin resembling inshape certain lanterns