Heriot Toun in autumn

7 Short Sails - Sail 5

Rachel Hazell is a book artist, photographer and writer. She travels frequently in pursuit of good narrative, finding stories in the simplest things and reveling in complex repetitive structures (whether natural or man-made). Saying yes to opportunities arising means her glass is often more than half full. Rachel likes standing on top of mountains and singing.

Alistair Peebles lives and works in Orkney. A photographer, writer and occasional teacher and printmaker, he recently began a gallery/imprint in Stromness, under the collective title of Brae Projects. The poem and rust drawing were created following a visit to the remote and mostly imaginary island of Foula in Shetland.

Kirsty Law (vocals, lyrics), Dogan Mehmet (fiddle, recording), Matt Quinn (melodeon) are music students studying Folk and Traditional Music course at the University of Newcastle.

Alison Flett is a writer, born and bred in Edinburgh but now living in Orkney. Her book of poetry "Whit Lassyz Ur Inty" was shortlisted for the Saltire Book of the Year Award. She has just completed her first novel.

Borre Skodvin of Jensen & Skodvin architects was established in 1995 by Jan Olav Jensen and Børre Skodvin. Over the past 13 years the practice has grown to nine architects, and has completed a variety of projects, for public as well as private clients. Projects range from furniture to urban planning and are located in a variety of sites and situations.

Gerry Smith works primarily with texts. He gained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone (Dundee) and is currently studying on the MFA (Intermedia Art) at Edinburgh College of Art. He has exhibited in the UK and Germany, and has recently published “I am a text-based artist, Collected Words 1998-2008”.

Pive Toivenon lives on an island called Högsåra in Finland. Högsåra: 59´57N 22´22E. She works mostly on environmentally based art. The following images were made by watercolour and the motion of a sailing boat.

Artists Involved

Rachel Hazell (Scotland)
Alistair Peebles (Orkney)
Music Students (Uni of Newcastle)
Alison Flett (Scotland)
Borre Skodvin (Norway)
Gerry Smith (Scotland)
Pive Toivonon (Finland)


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Rachel Hazell was sent the following text and images to respond to:

It's not down on any map or chart, true places never are...


"Of all delectable islands Neverland is the snuggest and most compact, not large and sprawly, you know, with tedious distances between one adventure and another, but nicely crammed."

Music by Andy Law and Mhairi Law

Rachel Hazell's response:

'wish i knew'
About the ethereal trust necessary whilst moving through silent fog on still deep water. I am preoccupied with the unknowableness of life. Mapping, charting, documenting, remembering.



Alistair Peebles' response to Rachel Hazell's work:

The Blue Boat

Tethered on the concrete slip,
Low tide in Ham Voe:
The burn below the high bank surges,
Rising over meshed boulders.

Boulders line the dinghy’s hull,
A rock weighs down the oars,
Four lines like a slack quatrain
Slope towards the shore.

I was impatient, eyes smarting
In the early sun.
Here the boat was resting, idle,
Angled on her black keel.

I cleared the rocks, untied
The ropes and dragged her
Lightly down, was off upon
The backwash to the sea.

A stolen boat! But Hamnafield
Was rust-red, shining.
The harbour seals said, “Join us,
Join us. Row into the morning.”

Kirsty, Dogan and Matt's response to Alistair Peebles' work:

The Meeting

Alison Flett's response to Kirsty, Dogan and Matt's work:


in the spaces between things

in the silence the sea makes
between suck and whoosh, here
and gone, here
and gone
the shivering pause
of the crested wave
wait  wait  wait

in the sliver of peace
between in breath
and out breath
the hiatus
between waking
and dreaming

in the hover
between foot falls
the hesitate
between words

here is where I find you

I slow these
moments down
hold my breath
to spend longer
with you
hold your image
on the brink
of my mind

you are still
there in the spaces between things

Borre Skodvin's response to Alison Flett's work:

Gerry Smith's response to Borre Skodvin's work:

Northern Voices

Pive Toivenon's response to Gerry Smith's work:

Pive ToivenonPive ToivenonPive ToivenonPive ToivenonPive ToivenonPive ToivenonPive ToivenonPive Toivenon

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