Out and about recently - to Dundee to college (top left) to get books from the library and have my first face-to-face tutorial with the course director, Cath, which resulted in us both pretending to walk like crabs around the studio... will explain later.
Then to Stonehaven to meet York friend and Nordic walking teacher, Karen and her art student daughter Sophie, who was on a residency in Stonehaven. Karen showed me round the town where she lived 18years ago. We took the coast path to the sprawling and spectacular Dunnotar Castle on what turned out to be the last sunny day for a week. Good timing Karen! Top pic shows some of the windy stormy weather that followed.
So what's with the crab walk? I've decided on the theme for my project: the Velvet Crab. Small, red-eyed and nippy, this little fella is caught in creels off the Scottish coast and then taken on a long trek to Spain and Portugal. Why? First, we don't eat them much here (too small maybe?) but they are a tasty treat in Southern Europe where it seems there are none left in the sea.
So a small crab with a furry shell which has a big story, plenty of visual inspiration and lots to research. Started sketching forms and shapes, trying different palettes and making strange little structures out of flotsam and collage scraps. Some great photos (below) courtesy of pal Bid who visited recently and we walked along the coast to the next village, Gourdon, just as the guys were offloading their catch of lobster and crab.
It's also interesting (and a relief!) that the theoretical side of the course throws up all kinds of relevant stuff too which will help inform and develop the theory behind the project. Yay! A few examples:
"Nothing is a thing in itself as the smallest grain of dust is bound up with our entire solar system..." Bergson (Creative Evolution, 1944)
"The artist's function is to search, to discover value, to value discovery, to discover qualities of value, to respeak the values more clearly." Helen Mayer Harrison (Art & Ecology, 2014)
"The world and the whole of being is divided into sectors whose resources are systematically and endless extracted, stocked and distributed not to satisfy concrete need but desires manipulated by increasingly more sophisticated marketing techniques." Natasha Lushetich, (Interdisciplinary Performance, Reformatting Reality 2016) while discussing the philosophy of Martin Heidegger.
Food for thought!
Coming next - an encounter with the police.