Monday, October 1, 2018

A different light

My time in the cottage this time has again reinforced the contrasting nature of the light in the Highlands.

Though there is often a pallet of greys; there also can be sunshine in the foreground with a squall in the background; of a moon with scudding clouds. On a single walk there can be different skies in four directions. On Friday on our walk to the fishing cove the sun was peering through clods on the right and the moon was periodically appearing from behind clods on the left.




Following are a few random photos of the Highland light.











Saturday, September 29, 2018

Keyholes, latches and lives

In our meanderings of late I have been attracted to keyholes and latches to various doors. I think it is the history that could be associated with the houses. The keyholes and their wear and foibles suggest lived lives. They make me want to ask the questions: who lived here; how many generations; over what timeframe; how many times was the door opened to let folk in; were they meant to offer safety or security or just keep the elements out etc. There are just layers and layers of life on those doors and keyholes-latches.

Though I have posted on a couple of the keyholes and latches before I thought I might just post on them as a collection.










That is all for this Friday in the Highlands.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Entwined and tangled

On our visits to our local fishing cove and Sandside Harbour I just could not but notice the amount of rope, steel rope and chain that was lying around - some in orderly piles and others just seemingly abandoned.

A few images follow.












I do like the layers, lines and installations are the result of the industry.

And what about the entanglement of kelp in Sandside Harbour.


Monday, September 24, 2018

Sculpture that reflects the landscape

On Wednesday Fiona and I went to see an exhibition in the Thurso Art Gallery by Hannah Imlach and Shaun Fraser. I was particularly taken by the work of Hannah Imlach whose work had a very strong environmental research and engineering perspectives.

Hannah's research into peatland habitats resulted in sculptural objects and sculptural 'instruments' that reflected her findings and sketches from the peatland flora. Below are a few images from the exhibition and the video Hannah had made about setting up the pieces of work in the landscape that inspired them

©2018 Barry Smith - Spagnum Ombrometer by Hannah Imlach
©2018 Barry Smith - Sphagnum Blanket by Hannah Imlach
©2018 Barry Smith - Detail of Pollen Radiometer by Hannah Imlach
©2018 Barry Smith - Hannah Imlach installing Pollen Radiometer
©2018 Barry Smith - Hannah Imlach installing Pollen Radiometer
©2018 Barry Smith - Hannah Imlach installing Hazel Anemometer
I loved the way Hannah had brought together the detailed content of her research and sculptural design - impressive.  I also loved Shaun's bronze casts of actual peat.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

For peace

Today (21 September) is international Peace Day. When we are home on the mountain Fiona and I put up an installation of 21 peace weather-grams and 21 peace doves. Because we were to be in a cottage in the Scottish Highlands we did that installation a couple of weeks before we left home. But we both brought a couple of bits with us to install the cottage on the day.

This morning after breakfast we attached the weather-grams and peace doves to the front gate of the cottage. There was quite a stiff cool breeze so some of the photos are a bit out of focus.

©Fiona Dempster 2018 - Peace dove caught in the sign on the cottage gate
©Fiona Dempster 2018 - Barry attaching peace doves to the front gate in a stiff Scottish breeze
©Fiona Dempster 2018 - Peace weather-gram and dove rippling out peace on the Scottish breeze
©Fiona Dempster 2018 - Small peace installation at the cottage
©2018 Barry Smith - Fiona installing peace weather-grams
©Fiona Dempster 2018 - Flying for peace
©Fiona Dempster 2018 - Pair of peace doves for International Peace Day
©2018 Barry Smith - Stash of peace doves before installation
At the end of the day the pieces for peace are still flying for peace in the Scottish Highlands.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Highlands flowers and other fragments

We whilst Fiona and I are in a completely different setting, aka cottage in the Scottish Highlands, walks and the appreciation the simple beauty on offer continue to be a big part of our daily lives.

This Wednesday post shares some of that simple beauty - first flowers - with and without bumble bee.

©2018 Barry Smith - Clover blossom in early light
©2018 Barry Smith - Like a fire stick
©2018 Barry Smith - Bog cotton in the breeze
©2018 Barry Smith - Love the contrast of stems and fruit 
©2018 Barry Smith - The purple flowers that produce the red berries
©2018 Barry Smith - Colour on rocks with native bees?
©2018 Barry Smith - Spent thistles but still gorgeous
©2018 Barry Smith - Micro thistles
©2018 Barry Smith - Another angle of the micro thistles
©2018 Barry Smith - Blossom, bumble bee and fly
Gorgeous scraggy highland cattle by the roadside.

©2018 Barry Smith - Highlander
©2018 Barry Smith - Calf gets a gentle clean
And of course there is so much more including strange sedge like plants, micro insect eating plants and fungi beside a path.


©2018 Barry Smith - Lots of little critters trapped in these micro plants - each blossom is less than 1cm across