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In August 2013 we set sail from Stromness on our second Sea Change expedition, aboard Lerwick community boat The Swan, with a crew of 27 artists, scientists and informers. More ›

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The expedition crew of 27 includes a wide range of scientific and creative folk.
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Carbon Cycle

2.carbon sink

CARBON/SINK

Site-specific organic drawing, North Haven pier, Fair Isle

(peat and fresh water / 12” x 120”)

 

 

A musing on the ecology of the Carbon Cycle and the human intervention within it’s system: the symbiotic links between the entropy of organic matter – moorland as a carbon sink – fossil fuels – carbon dioxide emission – greenhouse effect atmospheric warming – sea level rise – erosion – loss of land – the creation of islands…

 

This large-scale peat drawing is probably the first public art piece of its kind on remote Fair Isle. I carefully collected the peat (already loose on the hillside) and freshwater from Ward Hill on the Northern part of the island. Peat is a beautiful material pigment to have the pleasure and privilege of working with.

 

Occupying an unusual space somewhere between the literal and the abstract, this drawing is intended to be self-reflexive, subtle, organic and ephemeral. Over time it will be decay with the weather and tides. I suppose a characteristic of its subtlety is that, at a glance, it appears to be natural – maybe non-human? It is assimilated with the place.

 

3.carbon sink

 

The treeless, moorland landscapes of the Northern Isles are rich in biodiversity and incubate thousands of years of dense natural carbon. For centuries peat was the primary fuel source for the islands’ human inhabitants. These islands are home to two of Europe’s largest oil terminals: Flotta on Orkney, and Sullom Voe on Shetland (operated by BP). Juxtapose this with the fact that Orkney is also a globally significant site of cutting-edge research into marine renewable energy technology (wave and tidal), an uncanny, poetic entanglement of histories, compromises and dreams begins to emerge.

 

Whilst travelling through the island landscapes of Hoy (Orkney), Fair Isle, and mainland Shetland, I observed the scars on the land – deep cuts into the peaty fabric of the earth. Pockets of human activity very visible, they seemed to me memorials of a bygone era – runes or inscriptions of an indigenous way of life, now lost. Although it is a way of tradition and heritage, arguably the harvesting of peat as a fuel source is unsustainable, and its history permeates the present and possible futures of the islands.

 

Photographs by Jennifer Wilcox.

 

1.carbon sink

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: James Brady

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Joins the expedition for week 1 and 2 Based on the Wirral peninsula coast in Merseyside, James is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and activist. Through his diverse practice he endeavours to reveal creative patterns embodied within our symbiosis with places, environments and natural systems.
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James Brady’s expedition blog for ecoartscotland

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See James Brady’s blog here:   http://ecoartscotland.net/    

Leaving Fair Isle

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Andy Crabb’s Sea Changes Part 1 now on vimeo

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Sea Changes, part 1 featuring Karine Polwart from Andy Crabb on Vimeo. Part 1 of a film about Cape Farewell’s Northern Isles expedition, on board the Swan LK243. The Swan is a traditional Shetland fishing sail boat, restored and operated by a community based trust in Shetland swantrust.com/. She is a truly beautiful boat. The film... Read more ›

Carbon Cycle

1.carbon sink
CARBON/SINK Site-specific organic drawing, North Haven pier, Fair Isle (peat and fresh water / 12” x 120”)     A musing on the ecology of the Carbon Cycle and the human intervention within it’s system: the symbiotic links between the entropy of organic matter – moorland as a carbon sink – fossil fuels – carbon... Read more ›

Wind, stone

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Wind, stone: by Teresa Elwes

Fish For The Table

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FishForTheTable 03 vimeo from Tam Treanor.

Microcosms: Eons, Tides and Dreams

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‘I go to the rockpool at the slack of the tide to mind me what my poetry’s for.’ –      Jen Hadfield (from the poem, Daed-traa*)           ‘The parent materials were gathered together as volcanoes poured them out in fiery streams, as waters running over the bare rocks of the continents wore... Read more ›

Quota

bunk and deck
quota n 1. the proportional or part of a whole that is due from, due to, or allocated to a person or group 2. a prescribed number or quantity, as of items to be manufactured, imported, or exported, immigrants admitted to a country [from Latin quota pars how big a share?, from quotus of what... Read more ›

Freedom Come All Ye” performed by Karine Polwart in The Italian Chapel, Orkney August 2013.

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“Freedom Come All Ye” performed by Karine Polwart in The Italian Chapel, Orkney August 2013. from Andy Crabb on Vimeo. In August 2013 members of Cape Farewell’s “Sea Change” project explored the landscapes, history and future of the Orkneys whilst sailing on board The Swan, a beautifully restored Shetland Fifie. The group consisting of artists,... Read more ›

Pelagic Gannets

gannet
When the seas calmed and I was no longer confined to my sick bunk, it was wonderful to be on deck and to observe my new watery surroundings, I saw gannets flap and glide past the Swan and was amazed to see their large wingspan for the first time. They truly are a majestic bird!... Read more ›

Sea change See change

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Poet. Climate change.  Environmentalist.  Scientist. Carbon economy. (Ex-)soldier. Renewables. Conservationist.  Fishing quota.  Artist. Sustainability. Writer.  Everyday words susceptible to our own interpretation, predisposition and characterisation.   Words that can be polarising and divisive.  So what happens when you mix them with a few associated ingredients?  On the one hand there is the potential for an explosive... Read more ›

Big words + Lumpy times

scalloway map
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