I am currently writer in residence at HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme, on the Finnish island of Suomenlinna, working on a project called Frontiers in Retreat.
Frontiers in Retreat is an art and ecology project I have been involved in for the last four years. A series of exhibitions, titled Edge Effects, has just begun and showcases some of the work produced by the 25 artists and 8 curatorial partners in the project:
June-September, Edge Effects at Skaftfell, Iceland; June-August, Edge Effects at Mustarinda, Finland; July, Edge Effects organised by Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Glasgow; July-September, Edge Effects in Aizpute, Latvia, and opening soon online in July: Edge Effects, Farrera, Spain which includes my work, FORD and my interview series with some of the artists. More Edge Effects exhibitions opening later in the year in Zagreb and Seoul.
HIAP has just produced the beautiful booklet above, designed by NODE in Berlin, and edited by Salla Lahtinen and Jenni Nurmenniemi. You can download a free copy here
The booklet summarises the work of the Frontiers in Retreat artists and partners and is also available at the Edge Effects exhibition venues. It features the photograph below of my installed text work, MEANDA, from the Exoplanet Lot exhibition organised by Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou, Cajarc, last year.
As Above So Below is an arts and astronomy project at ACA in Allenheads, Northumberland, UK, coinciding with the building of a new community observatory.
Earlier this year I ran a future fiction writing workshop with schoolchildren and installed a ground text around the Armstrong Hydraulic Engine in Allenheads village. My future fiction novella, Meanda, and the outcomes of the children’s workshop will feature in next weekend’s finale exhibition, along with the work of 17 other artists, 28-30 October 2016. Full details:
So far the broadcasts have included daily Sounds of Lochaber from Mark Vernon and London Fieldworks including local agriculture and industry, Highland Games, Nevis climbers, walkers and other tourists; Taking Four Sentences For A Walk – A Writers’ Workshop by me in collaboration with seven other writers*; Kirsteen Davidson Kelly playing piano in the woods; Ruth Barker retelling ancient myths; Sarah Kenchington’s sound performance in collaboration with the sea; weather music from Lisa O’Brien; sounds and lyrics of the Glen from Geoff Sample; two stories set in the Highlands and Islands from Tony White, accompanied by Peter Lanceley and Johny Brown; Clair Chinnery building a nest and dressing in feathers; Bram Thomas Arnold’s series of absurb interactions with nature; The Cèilidh Trailers, an eight-piece band in a a space big enough for four people (how was that possible?); Sarah Henderson playing the clàrsach – the Gaelic harp; John Ireland talking about wood ants; Alex Gillespie and Willie Anderson, veterans of the Nevis Mountain Rescue Team; local radio broadcaster Isobel Campbell in conversation with sheepfarmer Ian McColl; historian Alex Du Toit on The Clearances, the Jacobite Risings, the Scottish Diaspora and filming Harry Potter. If you haven’t listened yet, aren’t you wishing you had? Programmes are repeated and will be available online from next week.
And still to come over the next two days are Lee Patterson’s sound work from field recordings in this spectacular environment rich with wild life, Benedict Drew, Alec Finlay and Ken Cockburn’s The Road North, two performances from Johny Brown, Ed Baxter using the Glen as an acoustic space, Emma Nicholson from Atlas Arts on the Isle of Skye, Michael Pederson and Ziggy Campbell, Goodiepal, The Band of Holy Joy, and Tam Dean Burn in dialogue with John Hutchinson from the John Muir Trust and more. Listening in is nearly as good as being in the Scottish Highlands.
* The seven writers were Gay Anderson, Carol Brock, Anne Claydon-Wallace, Alison Lloyd, Gillian Ness, Lorna Finlayson and Nuno Sacramento.