Kellie Gutman writes: The artist, sculptor and writer John Cummingtook part in the fourth and final week of Cape Farewell’s expedition to the Shetland Islands this summer. John was born and raised in Burra Isle, Shetland. He writes:
What draws me to these places is hard to define. The journey is part of the magic. The sea is endlessly, and wonderfully alive; unlike concrete, unlike tarmacadam. No two sea journeys are ever the same. On the trip to North Rona, we met families of dolphin, Risso’s, basking sharks and minke whales. The sea was calm, the swell long and leaden. The night-time journey back was before a north-easterly gale, sailing only on the jib. Driving southwards at eight to ten knots, we listened to the clicking of a school of pilot whales some three miles away.
Next day the sheer sculptural magnificence of the Shiants was a revelation. I have a personal lexicography of island profiles; the Kame of Hoy; the Kame of Foula; the Drongs of Eshaness; each place uniquely powerful and awe inspiring, yet even now, weeks later the basalt columns and screes of the shiants are etched on the back of my eyelids.
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ashdenizen is edited by Robert Butler, and is the blog associated with the Ashden Directory, a website focusing on environment and performance.
The Ashden Directory is edited by Robert Butler and Wallace Heim, with associate editor Kellie Gutman. The Directory includes features, interviews, news, a timeline and a database of ecologically – themed productions since 1893 in the United Kingdom. Our own projects include ‘New Metaphors for Sustainability’, ‘Flowers Onstage’ and ‘Six ways to look at climate change and theatre’.
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