Landshapes, Guest Blog

Having previously worked with ATLAS Arts to lead an animation workshop at Portree Primary, as part of the BBC Ten Pieces initiative, I was delighted to be invited back to Skye by ATLAS Arts to create a limited edition artwork inspired by the island.

I was commissioned to explore The Cuillin range and chose to focus on the highest peak Sgurr Alasdair, the highest island summit in the United Kingdom.

ATLAS arranged for Skye Adventure to guide me safely up the mountain, with my limited experience of such a climb. Walking with a guide provided me with valuable insight that would both illuminate the climbing of the mountain and inform the eventual outcomes.

This opportunity came at a bit of turning point in my practice, and it was a great opportunity to explore ideas and develop research.

During the process of creating the works I experimented with various techniques, considered how and why I draw, experimented with colour and developed my visual language, whilst becoming much more interested in handmade, organic and non-digital approaches to making. It also provided a great opportunity to focus on and develop my screen printing practice in particular.

My research was broad and permitted me to explore a range of themes which I’m sure will provide the cornerstones of my future work.

I feel the project was a success and I’m really happy with the outcome and the body of research I have gathered during the process. I’m pleased to present the work as an alternative art souvenir that represents Skye in a contemporary way, with broad appeal, whilst maintaining a conceptual integrity.

I feel the abstracted/​graphic nature of the work (even the portrait format) challenges conventions of regular landscape based work and the eventual production process of hand screen printing was an ambitious approach, a fittingly intensive pursuit which had much in common with the Stone Chute section of the walk up Sgurr Alasdair!