I’ve spent the last few weeks on residency with Timespan in Helmsdale. The focus of my culminating exhibition while there is The Flow Country. Located between Caithness and Sutherland, this area is referred to as the Empty Lands.
It is a large expanse of hugging moss and brown.
Densely populated, with no population. I saw a herd of deer.
Type on trace, earth, moss, stones, tin, glass, Helix rulers, pencil on squared paper, fishing wire and bog recording
The same wry humour I get from a ‘blank’ document emblazoned with Blank Page comes to mind with Empty Lands.
Labelling an area with no human inhabitants as empty, ‘writing it off’, demonstrates a need to organise and contain the natural.
Grids and created structures were a recurring theme throughout my residency at Timespan.
Drystone walling became a Tetris like challenge of allotting shapes together into relationships of reliance. Amongst this there was learning of the rigid division of land after Highland clearances and the weight of territorial boundaries.
The culmination of findings and experiences was represented through a gridded platter of loaded objects.