About the project

collaborative curatorial research project, 2008 – 2010

‘Portage or portaging is the practice of carrying water craft or cargo over land, either around an obstacle in a river, or between two bodies of water. A place where this carrying occurs is also called a portage…some portages involve very little elevation change, such as the very short Mavis Grind in Shetland, which crosses an isthmus.’


During 2008, Shetland Arts was awarded curatorial and programme development funding from the Scottish Arts Council to research and develop ideas for the exhibition of craft in Shetland. This was a collaborative project with Hazel Hughson and Mary Smith that culminated in each of us curating an exhibition in Bonhoga Gallery during 2010.

All three exhibitions explored the concept of portage in terms of the transportation and exhibition of artwork in a remote island location as well as an exploration of communication over distance.

I chose to focus on digital and interactive work, particularly the work of Sarah Kettley, Hazel White and Distance Lab. In 2012, I curated an additional portage exhibition of Jayne Wallace’s work.