About

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 ›

The Crew

The expedition crew of 27 includes a wide range of scientific and creative folk.
Meet the crew ››

Read posts by

Exploring

Video


Video highlights

Watch highlights from the 2011 Western Isles Expedition ››

Karine Polwart

Joins the expedition for week 1

avatar

“One of the finest singer-songwriters in Britain” The Guardian
“Bright vocals and an unflinching social eye” The Observer

Karine draws from Scottish folk music’s long storytelling tradition while keeping pace with the ceaselessly changing times. Her ear for crafting enduring melodies, her gift for saying just enough without overstating her case, and the textural subtlety and cinematic lyricism of her words and music, all come together in songs of powerful contemporary relevance.

The songs themselves deal with humanity in all its many guises: there is tenderness, triumph and sorrow, raised flags of rebellion, flashes of anger at power abused and misused. Perhaps most frequently she deals in spare, unsentimental empathy, often with those who have been dealt the least playable hands in life.

Having studied philosophy and politics and later worked in the area of women’s and children’s rights, Polwart has always wanted her music to perform some useful social function. Much of her most recent writing concerns personal connections to place, memory and grief.

“For me” she says,“songs are one of the most powerful ways of making sense of the world. They’re for celebrating, lamenting, questioning, sharing, wondering. Nothing inspires me more as a musician and writer than the realisation that one of my songs means something to someone else”.

www.karinepolwart.com
twitter: @IAMKP
www.facebook.com/karinepolwart

Share

James Brady’s expedition blog for ecoartscotland

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 11.44.52
See James Brady’s blog here:   http://ecoartscotland.net/    

Leaving Fair Isle

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 12.26.15

Andy Crabb’s Sea Changes Part 1 now on vimeo

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 18.55.32
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

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 11.52.21
Wind, stone: by Teresa Elwes

Fish For The Table

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 11.35.38
FishForTheTable 03 vimeo from Tam Treanor.

Microcosms: Eons, Tides and Dreams

1
‘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.

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.29.03
“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

Go  2
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
LUMPY adj lumpier, lumpiest full of or having lumps (Transport / Nautical Terms) (esp of the sea) rough confused seas We headed south on ‘lumpy’ seas from Scalloway towards Sumburgh Head.  Our direction towards the East side was guided by the weather forecast and I was pleased to be moving at last. I have been... Read more ›