Molten Metal + Snowy Landscapes

Where is the time disintegrating away to?! I feel like I am always chasing after it!
I’ve already been at Scottish Sculpture Workshop for over a month and it has been absolutely jam packed – so far I’ve had a great overview of the workings of this energetic arts organisation nestled away in Lumsden.

My first few weeks of Lumsden life were picturesquely snowy – something I am not so used to being from Shetland. At home the snow barely has time to get comfy before it is either blown away again or the sea salt lashing through the air melts it away to nothing.
Here the air feels different – drier and far less fearsome. I love the way the snow clings to the contours of the land and highlights my mountainous surroundings. I’ve been enjoying comparing images of the cold landscape with the fiery happenings of the foundry.

Fire and Ice.

To be honest, I’ve found being inland somewhat of a struggle. I really enjoy the landscape here in Lumsden, in particular the forests are great for walking. I somehow though feel restricted. Not having a horizon to look out on makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable, The land just rolls on and on and on…

How can I feel more restricted by an endless landscape than the boundary of the sea?


Recently at SSW we hosted the SSW:Incubator a series of events and discussion which was part of the wider Frontiers in Retreat programme. “Frontiers in Retreat is a five-year collaboration project that fosters multidisciplinary dialogue on ecological questions within a European network formed around artist residencies. The project sets out to examine processes of change in particular, sensitive ecological contexts within Europe, to reflect them in relation to each other and to develop new approaches to the urgencies posed by them. Moreover, the project recognises the necessity of multidisciplinary approaches to the current ecological concerns and aims to develop means and platforms for this through methods of contemporary art.”

The ‘Incubator’ raised some very important questions and discussion and again got me thinking of the artists role within the somewhat daunting wider discussion of climate change. Ever since my participation in the excellent Mull Arts and Sustainability Residency last year, my work has been really focussed on human effect on the landscape. As you can imagine I was delighted to once again connect with this dialogue at SSW.

I am so intrigued with reaction to climate change. From passionate demands for immediate change, to blunt denial that there is an issue at all. My artistic response to this debate has unintentionally focused on wind-farms and the often intense hatred towards them. I’m mostly interested in the fact that so many people appear to have an issue with the aesthetic quality of the turbines; deeming them too large, or unsightly. The landscape is always changing – usually through human presence. Do these structures damage the landscape’s appearance or do they add a point of interest? Regardless of this, should the emphasis really be on the aesthetic rather than the cause?

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

When I manage to find time to steal away from busy SSW life. I am finding mini windmills cropping up in my work once more…they appear to be my point of focus on the landscape.

The thing I search for now that I can’t see the horizon.

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One thought on “Molten Metal + Snowy Landscapes

  1. Hi Vivian, Another interesting post! Here in the US, there is frequent talk about using wind turbines for energy. Visually, I do not find them especially offensive, though I do think that there should always be viewsheds available to us without human development. (Perhaps this is the ocean for you, the Adirondack mountains in northern New York for me). It seems to me that the aural effects of the wind turbines are more disturbing for folks who live near them. Best wishes.

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