Monthly Archives: March 2015

‘Eigg Island’ launch event and performances

Jennifer L Williams perfoming 'West', 'North' and 'East'

Jennifer L Williams and Atzi Muramatsu performing ‘West’, ‘North’ and ‘East’ (Photography Eleni Laparidou)

The exhibition of Eigg Island launched at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on Thursday evening last week. It was a great success, with 60 or more people attending and much positive feedback about the performances and artworks. You can view all the artworks Here.

I was as always very moved by the poetry and music performances of JL Williams and Atzi Muramatsu. Atzi Muramatsu also performed his piece for string quartet, Gaia Metempsychosis which took its inspiration from the fossil filled cliffs at the North end of Eigg.

These works were created as part of our on-going collaboration inspired by Eigg Island, and the 6 minute video (below) brings together paintings, music and poetry created for the project

Photos of the launch (below), were taken by Photographer Eleni Laparidou  (EL Photography)

This is a link to the video of the Eigg Island launch event courtesy of Summerhall TV, an arts channel dedicated to promoting the arts in Scotland.

Thanks again, to everyone who took part in the launch event!

 

‘Eigg Island’; crafts, photography and paintings

P1200408Below are all the artworks included in the Eigg Island exhibition, which launched Thursday 26th March at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. I think the works are all wonderful and I hope you think so too!

The launch was a great success with an audience of 60 or more. You can view photos of the evening and two beautiful performances in poetry and music Here.

The exhibition continues until the 21st April, so I hope you’ll take the opportunity if you’re in Edinburgh, to drop in and see the works ‘in the flesh’!

The prices are all listed at the exhibition itself, but if you can’t make it along to the exhibition and would like to enquire about the works, please feel free to email me at rose.strang@gmail.com.

Also, each of the photos below include a website address for the artists, so they are all contactable direct from their websites if you’d like to get in touch with them

Many thanks to Lucy Conway of Eigg Box for all her support of the exhibition, also Daniel Abercrombie and all the staff at the Scottish Storytelling Centre for being a huge help with set-up and running of the event. And of course, family and friends who’ve been supportive, as always, in myriad ways! Thank you.

Prints

Hebrides Series

Harbour Series

 

 

 

Three days to go!

P1150054

On the west coast of Eigg last year

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous about the upcoming exhibition launch and performances on Thursday!

I hope there will be a good audience, that everything’s just right for Atzi and Jennifer’s performances, but mostly I hope that people feel inspired, and feel some of the magic that I have while working with Atzi and Jennifer in the past year.

 

We’ve had a few collaborations over the past year, but Thursday represents the culmination of the Eigg project. We’ve all worked hard on this one, and it’s going to be truly special.

Yesterday I also received three very moving poems that Jennifer L Williams has written in response to the paintings and themes, which she’ll read aloud at the launch. I’ve attended many of Jennifer’s readings, so I know this is something that she has an outstanding talent for; expressing mood, atmosphere and meaning beautifully.

This video from last year is a reading of ‘Stormy Sky’ which Jennifer wrote  in response to my painting ‘Stormy Sky, Lindisfarne’

As mentioned in the previous blog, I’m also very happy indeed that Atzi Muramatsu will be performing ‘Gaea Metempsychosis’ (  inspired by his experience of the cliffs at the north end of the Isle of Eigg) with string quartet at the launch.

Atzi’s talent as a musician extends in many different directions; as part of the band he leads – Lypsync for a Lullaby – also as a cellist in traditional orchestra concerts and as a composer of contemporary music. I remember listening to one of his shorter compositions ‘5 Seconds Left’ a year ago, and thinking that I’d love to collaborate with him on art projects.

Last year I overlaid ‘5 Seconds Left’ onto a slowed down video I took of ferry waves on my first trip to Eigg in April last year, I love the mesmerising, gradually deepening thrum, echoing the movement of deep sea, and the inter-layering of voice (all Atzi’s voice as far as I know!)

As Atzi and Jennifer rehearse, and I get together the final details for the exhibition, I just want to say again what a pleasure and an inspiration it is to work with such talented and great people!

If you’re coming to the exhibition on Thursday (details Here) I look forward to saying hello!

Lastly, here’s a video which features my paintings from last year’s Eigg exhibition, Jennifer’s poetry, and Atzi’s improvised music piece to ‘Moonlight on Eigg’

Wool, willow and felt; Eigg’s makers

Jenny-61Today I’d like to introduce you to three of Eigg’s makers; Jenny Robertson, Libby Galli and Catherine Davies; whose work is included in next week’s exhibition – Eigg Island  at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. The exhibition launches this Thursday, 26th March at 7:30pm and continues until April 21st. All three makers live and work on Eigg, and use materials sourced from the Island in their beautiful craft work.

As far as I know this is the first time they’ve exhibited in Edinburgh as they mostly sell direct from Eigg, so this is a good opportunity to view or buy their work ‘in the flesh’ while it’s here!

A’Nead Hand Knitwear – Jenny Robertsonsmall

Anead Knitwear produces unique quality cobweb lace shawls, wraps, scarves and fingerless gloves from hand-spun yarn on the Isle of Eigg, Scotland, custom orders being welcome. Some of the fleece is hand dyed using natural dye extracts and the solar dyeing method.

 

The natural world provides the inspiration for all designs and environmental and ethical issues are at the heart of the business. http://www.anead-knitwear.co.uk

AllAboutWillow-2All About Willow – Catherine Davies and Pascal Carr

Catherine Davies and Pascal Carr are basket makers who live and work on the Isle of Eigg making beautiful, bespoke baskets from willow which is grown organically on their croft.

 

They teach, demonstrate and sell their baskets in Europe and mainland UK and run basketry courses for all levels of experience from their workshop on the Island. They undertake commission of all types including coffins.
http://www.allaboutwillow.co.uk

flying-owlLibby Galli, felt artist

Originally from Sussex, Libby Galli has lived on islands for the past 13 years. She moved to the Isle of Muck in 2007 where she lived for 5 years before moving to the neighbouring Isle of Eigg.

 

The inspiration she has found in these beautiful surroundings has led to her developing her passion for creating beautiful felt paintings. Libby produces her felt art at home, with fabulous views over Laig beach and to The Isle of Rum.
http://www.libbygallifeltartist.co.uk

Many thanks to Lucy Conway and Eigg Box for coordinating their work for the exhibition!

‘Eigg Island’ Trilogy

Rose Strang 'West', 'North' and 'East'

Rose Strang ‘West’, ‘North’ and ‘East’. Mixed media on 40×40″ wood panels

Rose Strang and artworks.(Photography Eleni Laparidou)

Rose Strang and artworks.(Photography Eleni Laparidou)

The trilogy of ‘West’, ‘North’ and ‘East’ were painted over two months as the culmination of a year-long project in response to the Isle of Eigg in the Scottish Hebrides, which included collaborations between myself, composer/cellist Atzi Muramatsu and poet JL Williams

 

 

West – Singing Sands

'West - Singing Sands'. Mixed media on 40x40" redwood panel

‘West – Singing Sands’. Mixed media on 40×40″ redwood panel

West – Singing Sands. Mixed media on 40×40″ wood panel
‘West’ is about imagining an island;  what we project onto an island
in our imagination before arriving. The painting could be viewed as an old map, or a faded
painting of a view across the sea. We bring our own and others’ history to a new place.
‘Singing Sands’ refers to the name of the bay on the west coast of the island,
whose sands are said to ‘sing’ when dry (which intrigued me before I first visited Eigg!).

This painting was a very gradual process of building up then scraping back layers of paint, crackle glaze and varnish.

North – Transmigration

'North - Transmigration'. Mixed media on 40x40" redwood panel

‘North – Transmigration’. Mixed media on 40×40″ redwood panel

North – Transmigration. Mixed media on 40×40″ wood panel
‘North’ is about the reality of nature on a Hebridean island, the toughness,
grittiness of weather and atmosphere – also fear of nature and how
it can feel impersonal. We observe it and wonder if we’re really a
part of it, though of course we are.

North (detail)

North (detail)

The small figure on top of the cliff is Atzi Muramatsu, a composer/cellist who I collaborated with on the project.
Sitting on these cliffs on the north end of the island (as part of a geology tour we joined) he began to compose a piece for string quartet called ‘Gaea Metemphsychosis’.

Metempsychosis is about transmigration of the soul and ‘Gaea’ of course means earth.
His piece was about fossils in these cliffs, formed 47 million years ago, slipping into the sea, also being there in a moment of time and the fact that we too eventually become part of the landscape again.

This is a very free-style painting, the basic composition was over-laid with washes and splashes of salt, glaze and paint to build atmosphere, before finally adding the figure.

East – Harbour

'East - Harbour'. Mixed media on 40x40" redwood panel

‘East – Harbour’. Mixed media on 40×40″ redwood panel

East – Harbour. Mixed media on 40×40″ wood panel
‘East’ is a view of the harbour bay from the island, looking out to
sea. There is the sense of a haven, which has a lot to
do with people met there, but also the fact of physically having being on
most parts of the island. You find your place, then leaving to
return to the mainland brings mixed feelings. Islands can seem an oasis from
a troubled world, which is no doubt why religious or spiritual centres are often
founded on islands.

East (detail)

East (detail)

The painting process was in itself very peaceful; simple layering of colours and glazes, allowing drips to form, then adding the small boat.

 

 

 

After the exhibition launch I’ll be sure to post videos/photos of JL Williams and Atzi Muramatsu’s performances, which I’m really looking forward to seeing next Thursday!

North; transmigration

'North'. Mixed media on 40x40" redwood panel

‘North’. Mixed media on 40×40″ redwood panel

Happy days. I love it when work and ideas merge together into new forms.

The above painting is North, second in the series of three paintings for the upcoming Eigg Island exhibition. It was inspired by  a day in September on the last visit to Eigg, on the geology trail with geologist Prof’ John Hudson, who showed us fragments of bone from a Pliosaurus (estimated to have lived about 147 million years ago).

We sat underneath the fossil-filled cliffs on the north end of the island and ate lunch whileP1140952 Atzi Muramatsu began (unbeknownst to me!) to write a music piece which became ‘Gaea Metempsychosis’; a piece for string quartet, which will be performed at the exhibition launch.

It occurred to me after a day of painting the final touches of North that it would make perfect sense to add Atzi (the musician I’m collaborating with alongside poet JL Willams for the exhibition) on the cliff. Once painted I gave him a quick call to make sure he didn’t feel a bit ‘Dorian Gray’ or superstitious about it, but he thought it was a great idea as long as it worked for the painting!

P1200137‘Metempsychosis’ is a Greek word meaning transmigration of the soul – or its reincarnation after death, ‘Gaea’ meaning of course – the earth. So the inspiration of fossils, and of being on the island in a particular moment in time, yet feeling the sense of our own infinity – and that, like fossils, we become part of the landscape once more, was the inspiration behind Atzi’s music.

North’s place in the trilogy of paintings, is to represent the idea of the reality of being on a Hebridean island, after imagining what that experience will be like, because to me there’s always a time when you feel not a part of the landscape, you’re not sure of your place in this wildness of sea and cliffs, although of course we are a part of it.

I have a piece of marble that I collected from the Isle of Iona (the beautiful small island off the coast of Mull on the west coast of Scotland). It represents the idea of ‘Gaea Metempsychosis’ exactly to me. Iona was the first place where, in my early twenties I felt a powerful connection to nature – I felt my place in the cycle of everything.

The piece of marble in the photo to the right is formed  by the minerals of  tiny sea creatures P1200138from millions of years ago, their remains crushed by the weight of  rocks and ocean over time into dense, heavy white marble. You can see seams of serpentine – a silicate formed by algae and water that ran into cracks and faults of the marble.

It’s so beautiful, and it’s from a very rare seam of marble on the south side of the island that’s pretty difficult to find for newcomers. Islanders mined it about 100 years ago to form the alter in Iona Abbey, but to me it’s is best experienced on those south cliffs of Iona, looking out over a wild blue sea.

It’s quite difficult to express how rewarding collaboration is; when ideas connect – also the way that nature inspires and makes meaning of our lives. I felt very similarly about the recent Lindisfarne collaboration with poet JL Williams – view video here – When you write to the light..