3 lines and a gap …

A man called Pete Wallis first introduced me to Restorative Justice. I had the joy of working with him for 6 years when I worked for the youth offending service in England. In his book, ‘Understanding Restorative Justice’ Pete suggests that crime creates a gap between...

Drawing a line …

Whether it be drawing the first line on an architectural plan, chiseling the formative channel out of a section of wood, stitching the inaugural row of an embroidery, making the initial downstroke of a letter, or being brave enough to make a brush stroke on an empty...

The gift of food shared…

Last week, I was taught the importance of food in transcending culture and language by a friend’s seven year old daughter. Ten years ago I had the privilege of being the witness at a friend’s wedding in the Czech Republic…I had not seen my friend...

Portholes and shoormal

I went to the opening of a friend’s exhibition last week, ‘Island Connections‘, by Vivian Ross-Smith, at Bonhoga Gallery. It is a collection of works that examines the relationships between people and land. Vivian carried out an artist residency on...

Mending prejudice …

On an evening when it is reported that the man who is accused of murdering Jo Cox MP researched the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organisations… In a week when a multi millionaire businessman with reported possible links to the Ku Klux Klan is elected...

‘Grey is the colour of promise’

Many visitors to the exhibition found resonances with this beautiful piece of writing by my mother. A number of people have asked for a copy of it, so here it is…   Grey is the colour of promise It is the colour of morning mist which evaporates to a...

Matryoshka …

Matryoshka nesting doll series – each doll was based on one of the four themes of the exhibition…mend, home, place, plant and each one contained objects relating to its theme…        Mend – matryoshka Home – hands   Place – coasts  ...

Lunch is ready…

Many years ago, a friend of mine who is a dietician, told me that we don’t usually share a meal with someone or people we don’t trust. Trust and the ability to negotiate difficult situations seems to be further enhanced when we share the same food. A study...

A car, a boat and a roll of lino

There was an error on the specially printed lino flooring when it arrived a week before the show opened. The company I’d ordered it from acknowledged the mistake, printed it again, and a member of their team drove overnight from London to Aberdeen with the roll...

Light, labyrinths and EL wire

I have long had a fascination with projected light. There is something magical about seeing an image appear out of a beam of light. I’m not quite sure when that fascination started. Maybe it has its origins in the slide shows (remember those?) that my father...

Exhibition week is here…

‘We think back through our mothers…’ Or do we? Lodberrie Traders, Lerwick, Shetland Monday 17 – Saturday 22 October 2016 (CLOSED Wednesday 19 October) 12 noon –...

Lunch plates and lino

Lunch plates. I didn’t know they existed until a few weeks ago. Up until then, I had innocently assumed that there were only three types of crockery to worry about: dinner plate, side plate and bowl. Now, I’ve discovered, there are not only lunch plates,...

Birch

In response to the question, ‘What would you most like to plant? Where would you plant it and why?’, my mother answered that she would like to ‘restore former habitats with all their indigenous species’ to re-create an ecological balance. She feels...

A set of Russian dolls

I bought a set of unadorned wooden nesting dolls from Russia. It’s a set of ten dolls that I’ve sanded down and sprayed with white enamel – so many coats to cover the bare wood! Every time I went into the studio, they got another coat. Each doll will...

They’ve arrived!

The Luminate festival catalogues have arrived. It feels a bit scary to see the exhibition listed – no turning back now… Luminate is Scotland’s annual creative ageing festival and there are some great projects happening during October all over...

Planting ‘Peace’

When I was born, my parents were given a rose called ‘Peace’. They joke that they’ve never had any peace since. That rose still blooms in my father’s garden. In April this year, I planted a ‘Peace’ rose in my own garden and over the...

Labyrinths and nesting dolls

Labyrinths fascinate me. To the purist, labyrinths are different from mazes. Mazes have multi-paths within them and dead ends, which can create fear, frustration and confusion, a bit like being lost without a map. Labyrinths, on the other hand, have one pathway, and...

Gold doilys and matryoshka dolls

On special occasions, my mother and my Gran served cakes and biscuits on doilys. I discovered an unopened packet of these spectacular gold doilys in one of Gran’s kitchen drawers; one of those drawers stuffed full of everything imaginable, and unimaginable. It...