Heriot Toun in autumn

7 Short Sails - Sail 5

Colin Andrews was born in Northern Ireland, in 1971, and is now based in Fife, in Scotland. He works primarily with electronic and lens based media and has exhibited widely in galleries and at screenings and festivals worldwide.

Neil Gillespie is a director with architects Reiach and Hall as well as being a design tutor at the architecture department of Edinburgh College of Art. "I long for the North. I console myself through conversations with artists."

Robert Macfarlane is the author of two award winning books: Mountains of the Mind (2003) which won the Guardian First Book Award and The Wild Places (2007) which won the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature and the Scottish Arts Council Non-Fiction Book Of The Year Award in 2008. Robert is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Rádhildur Ingadóttir is a visual artist born in Iceland currently living in Denmark.

Alyth McCormack is a singer&actress from the Island of Lewis. She grew up steeped in its rich heritage of music, songs&stories. She sings in Gaelic and is also a classically trained singer& enjoys experimenting with other musical styles&with other artistic genre.

Klavs Weiss and Karen Havskov Jensen are visual artists living and working close to the North Sea on the west coast of Denmark. THey are committed to making contmporary international art happen and have for the last ten years been running et4u contemporary visual arts projects in Vestjylland.
www.et4u.dk / www.klavsweiss.dk / www.karenhavskov.dk

Jen Hadfield's poetry and visual art is persistently influenced by Shetland's landscape and language. Her work often pivots on the idea of the secular-sacred, relating to landscape – “It is in heaven as it is on earth" “it is on earth as it is in heaven." Liturgical rhythms underpin many of her poems about place, home, ecology, space – an idiomatic mythology of the here-and-now. Of her two books published by Bloodaxe, Almanacs was written in Shetland and the Western Isles in 2002 thanks to a bursary from the Scottish Arts Council, and it won an Eric Gregory Award in 2003. Nigh-No-Place, written in Canada and Shetland, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize in 2007 and won the T.S.Eliot Prize for poetry in 2008.

Artists Involved

Colin Andrews (Ireland)
Neil Gillespie (Scotland)
Robert Macfarlane (England)
Rádhildur Ingadóttir (Iceland)
Alyth McCormack (Scotland)
K Weiss & K H Jensen (Denmark)
Jen Hadfield (Shetland)


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Colin Andrews was sent the following video and weather forecast to respond to:

The Wait

Met Office Weather Forecast 28th - 30th August
Ardnamurchan Point to Cape Wrath including the Outer Hebrides
Strong winds are forecast
Inshore waters forecast
24 hour forecast: 1900 Thu 28 Aug  1900 Fri 29 Aug 
Wind West or southwest 4 or 5, backing south 5 or 6.
Sea state Moderate or rough, occasionally very rough in far west later.
Weather Rain or drizzle.
Visibility Moderate or good, occasionally poor.
Outlook: 1900 Fri 29 Aug 1900 Sat 30 Aug 
Wind Southerly or southeasterly 4 or 5, occasionally 6 in south and west.
Sea state Moderate or rough.
Weather Rain or drizzle.
Visibility Moderate or good, occasionally poor.

Colin Andrews' response:




Neil Gillespie's response to Colin Andrews' work:

Things Orkney

Robert Macfarlane's response to Neil Gillespie's work:

Ravilious 63°52'0" North. This is where it ends. Near Eyrarbakki on the south-east Icelandic coast, just after dawn on 8 September, 1942. The river Olfusa debouches into the North Atlantic here, in a wide triangular delta. A bar of black lava-sand extends across the delta from the north-west, almost closing it off, such that the shape of the river-mouth resembles an A, with the cross-bar of the A not quite complete. A part-closed cuneiform, then, and a natural harbour. In this way its form is familial with other northern structures: opening outwards, but protective of the interior - Birsay Harbour, Maes Howe...

Just after dawn, and a man is walking the bar, as he always does after bad weather, to see what the storm has cast up. Pace, pace, pace. Footprints on the lava-sand. Over the inland mountains is an oak-coloured rain scarp: a sky-memory of the storm recently gone. The sea is settling, now, close to docile. Gluey combers fold up and in and over.

Pace, pace, pace. Then he stops, stoops. An aeroplane wheel, its white hub as big as his head, and the tyre still plump with air, draped with seaweed. Twenty paces further on, he finds an oleo. Rock-dented and buckled, so that its innards are visible: a gleaming spring, spiralling like a narwhal's horn.

Together the two objects, wheel and oleo, make a sea-rebus; a war-rune. The man glances out westwards, as though he can puzzle an answer to what has happened here. The gluey combers fold up and in and over.

50°45'0" North. This is where it begins. On the chalk of England's downlands, on a clear night in the summer of 1919, when a young man called Eric Ravilious, who likes to be known only by his surname, is lying in plush grass on the eastern slope above the mouth of the Cuckmere river, where it debouches into the English Channel, next to the white sea-cliffs of the Seven Sisters. Next to him lies his friend and companion James, who is disturbed because Ravilious is laughing out loud, up into the warless sky.

What is it, Ravilious? James asks, sitting up, pushing at him; I'm trying to sleep. Ravilious keeps on laughing, happiness at being in that mysterious place at that mysterious time welling up in him and belting out as laughter, and suddenly James realises that Ravilious isn't awake, that he's laughing in his sleep. And at this, he lies back, and starts laughing too.

And between these latitudes, what lies? No way of knowing now, unless we improvise.

Read the rest of Robert Macfarlane's story here...

Rádhildur Ingadóttir's response to Robert Macfarlane's work:


Alyth McCormack's response to Rádhildur Ingadóttir's work:


Now I am between two places. One I know well and miss and one I wish to learn about but have not settled in. I am separated from the two by the sea.

When I was young the sea offered much – a sense of wonder, sense of place, stories, travel - it encircled and protected my home.

Now the waves break harder, the colour is darker. I no longer recognise its sounds or how it makes me feel.

I long to hear again familiar sounds and trace the rise and fall of the tides.

I wait.

Klavs and Karen's response to Alyth McCormack's work

'Summer by the Sea'

Jen Hadfield's response to Klavs and Karen's work:

A Very Circular Song

At the brink of the cliff the boy on the quad-bike
goes round and around the same crag, by the geo,
the bull in the ring of his own making.
And the half-moon nissen huts are lit,
and their doors rolled back
on trowie-bright halls in the hill.
And the wind turns
like a great water-wheel.
The wind comes round to the north to pad
briefs on the line with pudenda of the wind,
and someone would need to take them in
before the next rain, or leave them to drench
and dry again.
And tufted ducks fly up from the lochan
to make a slow turn.
And gales are followed by rare, clear days
and steady cold nights, like tankers
to tow the next gale in.
More or less crucially, across the isles,
acts exceed themselves,like trout-mouthings;
a cement mixer bays at the daylight moon,
and Martha marches after her dad with a bucket,
and both are naked from the waist up,
and elsewhere a big timber frame goes up
as a little but-and-ben tumbles down
and the leg-hobbled, baby-faced Texal tup
scores a dial in the sodden yard –
his big moment having come and gone –
as the boy on the quadbike,
goes round and around the same crag,
tearing up the bog with his tyres,
the head-light and the tail-light at the brink
of the geo.

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